Ukraine's pro-Western government collapses

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Moscow, Sep 16 (UNI) Ukraine's parliamentary speaker Arseny Yatsenyuk today officially dissolved the pro-Western ruling coalition.

''I officially declare the coalition of democratic forces in Ukraine's Parliament dissolved,'' RIA Novosti quoted Mr Yatsenyuk as announcing in Parliament.

The coalition included Our Ukraine led by President Viktor Yushchenko and Tymoshenko Bloc led by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko -- allies in the 2004 ''Orange Revolution'' and since drifted apart on a number of issues, including the recent armed conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Our Ukraine withdrew from the coalition after Tymoshenko Bloc joined the opposition Party of Regions, led by pro-Russia Viktor Yanukovych, to approve legislation substantially cutting presidential powers.

Mr Yushchenko called the move a ''constitutional coup'' and subsequently accused Mr Tymoshenko of being a Kremlin agent.

Parliament now has 30 days to form a new coalition or face an early poll, the third since Mr Yushchenko came to power.

If efforts to form a new coalition fail, Mr Yushchenko could dissolve Parliament and call a snap election.

Mr Tymoshenko leads the second largest group in the 450-seat assembly, after Mr Yanukovych's Party of Regions.

Mr Tymoshenko earlier blocked a parliamentary vote to condemn Russia's aggression in Georgia and resisted Mr Yushchenko's attempts to impose restrictions on Russia's Black Sea Fleet, currently stationed in Ukraine's Sevastopol port, as ''populist.'' Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper today quoted a source in the Tymoshenko Bloc as saying the Prime Minister had ordered preparations for early elections. The source also said a new alliance with Mr Yushchenko was highly unlikely.

Both Mr Yushchenko and Mr Tymoshenko are expected to run in presidential elections due for 2010.


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