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Ukrainian PM Blames President for Tensions with Russia


Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has accused the nation's president of harming their country's relationship with Russia.

Ms. Tymoshenko's comments Wednesday come one day after her governing coalition with President Viktor Yushchenko collapsed following a political crisis. The president has accused Ms. Tymoshenko of failing to condemn Russia's recent actions in Georgia.

Ms. Tymoshenko, in turn, has accused President Yushchenko of antagonizing Russia. She told a news conference in Kiev that she believes the president bears responsibility for any potential downgrade in relations with Moscow.

She also warned that her governing bloc is prepared to hold early parliamentary elections, although she said doing so would be ill advised.

Following the coalition's collapse, parliament has 30 days to either form a new coalition or Mr. Yushchenko can call fresh parliamentary elections.

Parliamentary Speaker Arseny Yatsenyuk officially announced the end of the coalition Tuesday, 12 days after supporters of President Yushchenko withdrew their backing. They acted after allies of Ms. Tymoshenko backed legislation restricting presidential powers.

Yatsenyuk Wednesday announced his resignation.

Mr. Yushchenko and Ms. Tymoshenko were close allies during the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the president to power. They have since disagreed, reconciled and fallen out again.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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