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Ukrainian President, Prime Minister Hold Talks on Political Crisis

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych met Friday in a bid to ease the nation's escalating political crisis.

Neither man issued a public comment after the meeting.

Monday, Mr. Yushchenko dissolved parliament and called for early elections. He has said he will not change his position, despite opposition from lawmakers and massive street protests.

Prime Minister Yanukovych has reaffirmed his opposition to the plan. He is urging lawmakers to ignore the president's order until Ukraine's Constitutional Court has ruled on its legality.

Mr. Yushchenko ordered the dissolution of parliament after accusing Mr. Yanukovych of illegally persuading pro-presidential lawmakers to join the ruling coalition.

Tension between the president and the pro-Russian prime minister has been simmering since 2004, when the two men were rivals in a controversial presidential election.

Mr. Yanukovych won the election, sparking huge street protests by Yushchenko supporters, who called the vote fraudulent. A court ordered a new election, which Mr. Yushchenko won.

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