MONDAY, JULY 16, 2018
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No compromise over crisis after meeting
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, March 19 – Ukraine’s pro-government parties and opposition groups on Monday failed to reach a compromise for ending a political crisis in the country suggesting a new round of confrontation may be underway.

The opposition groups, including Our Ukraine and the bloc led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, demanded the pro-Russian government coalition to stop challenging President Viktor Yushchenko’s powers and pro-Western foreign policy.

But the coalition on Monday rejected the demands and pledged to reject Volodymyr Ohryzko, Yushchenko’s choice for the foreign minister, at a vote that had been scheduled on Tuesday.

“Will there be a positive result? Based on our today’s meeting, there will be no positive result,” Adam Martyniuk, the first deputy speaker of Parliament, said after the meeting.

The meeting between the groups came shortly after a meeting between group leaders and Yushchenko at the presidential office aimed at finding a solution to the escalating crisis. The first meeting was also a failure.

The development suggests the opposition groups will probably continue to boycott Parliament’s sessions, while at the same time prepare massive street protests later this year that would put pressure on the government.

The crisis may continue to deepen and even involve street clashes between the protesters and police troops that are controlled by the coalition, a development that would probably force Yushchenko to dismiss Parliament and to call early election.

According to the constitution, the president has the power to dismiss Parliament unless the coalition forms the government within 60-day deadline. Vadym Karasiov, a Kiev-based political analyst, said Yushchenko may technically use this power unless the coalition approves the foreign minister within 60 days after the resignation of Boris Tarasiuk from the post.

“The foreign minister is one of the key positions in the government, it is directly mentioned in the constitution,” Karasiov said.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych ever since his appointment to the post in August 2006 has been seeking to reverse Ukraine’s foreign policy towards a closer cooperation with Russia.

The Yanukovych-led coalition has been challenging Yushchenko by slowing down the country’s accession to NATO, while on the other hand seeking the power to define the country’s foreign policy.

Yushchenko argued that joining NATO would help Ukraine to improve the country’s security and defense, but Yanukovych had been pointing to the lack of political support for the accession within Ukraine. (tl/ez)

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