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New Ukraine Coalition Formally Nominates Tymoshenko as PM


Ukraine's new governing coalition has formally nominated Yulia Tymoshenko as the country's next prime minister.

The move Friday paves the way for the fiery politician to return to power less than a year after President Viktor Yushchenko removed her from the post, following infighting in her cabinet.

A spokesman said the president will present the Tymoshenko nomination to parliament Monday.

Thursday, Tymoshenko reignited an argument with Russia over natural gas prices, calling for deep revisions to a deal that nearly doubled the price of Russian gas to Ukraine consumers.

In response, Russia's Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said Ukraine signed a five-year contract with Russia's state-run gas monopoly Gazprom, and said the Kiev government is obligated to honor it.

Gazprom temporarily cut its gas flow to Ukraine in January, in a dispute over the price hike. The action sharply reduced gas supplies to Europe through Ukrainian pipelines.

Thursday, a Gazprom statement warned that Tymoshenko's actions could spark a new gas crisis. It also called Ukraine the "weak link" in the system of gas supplies to Europe.

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