KIEV, Oct. 4 ‚Äď President Viktor Yushchenko‚Äôs party, Our Ukraine, on Wednesday refused to join the ruling coalition and will recall its ministers from the government following a collapse of three-month talks with pro-Russian Regions Party.
The move will further increase tensions between Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who has been seeking to re-orient Ukraine‚Äôs aggressive pro-Western policy towards better relations with Russia.
Our Ukraine controls the third largest group in Parliament and its refusal to join the coalition will reduce legislative support for the Yanukovych government to a minimum.
The Regions Party will have to increasingly rely on its two small leftist and anti-reformist allies, the Communists and the Socialists, suggesting the country‚Äôs economic policy may become more populist and protectionist.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve made a clear choice,‚ÄĚ Roman Bezsmertniy, the leader of Our Ukraine and the top coalition negotiator, said Wednesday. ‚ÄúThere is the government coalition and there is Our Ukraine, which is in opposition to the coalition.‚ÄĚ
Bezsmertniy made the statement after a meeting with Yanukovych, Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz and Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko, and where coalition parties refused to adhere to a national unity pact all signed in August.
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