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Ukraine Opposition Leader Meets Cheney in Washington

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko says the United States understands the problems Ukraine faces in its democratic development, and its need for energy security.

Tymoshenko met in Washington Thursday with Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. The former Ukrainian prime minister is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Friday.

After her meetings Thursday, Tymoshenko said Ukraine faces a real threat of losing its political sovereignty, independence and integration with the European community for the first time in 15 years.

Ukraine is struggling with a political stalemate between supporters of West-leaning reformer President Viktor Yushchenko, and those of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who wants stronger ties with Russia.

President Yushchenko and Tymoshenko were once allies, but their relationship deteriorated because of bitter political infighting a year after the 2004 Orange Revolution that swept Mr. Yushchenko to power.