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TYMOSHENKO BLOC CALLS ON UKRAINIANS TO DEFEND DEMOCRATIC ACHIEVEMENTS... The Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) in the Verkhovna Rada has issued an appeal to the Ukrainian nation calling for support for the bloc's struggle for democracy and national interests, Interfax reported on July 12. The appeal describes the "anti-crisis" coalition made up of the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party as "a criminal-communist majority" and "revenge-seekers" who are striving to revive "the most fearful and disgraceful features of 'Kuchmaism.'" The BYuT urged the Our Ukraine party not to sit with "the Yanukovych clan" at the negotiating table. AM

...AND SUPPORTERS RALLY TO DEMAND PARLIAMENT'S DISSOLUTION. Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc supporters have rallied in Kyiv to demand the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada and the holding of early parliamentary elections, Interfax reported on July 12. According to BYuT member Mykola Tomenko, several thousand people attended the rally. They erected over 50 tents on Kyiv's Independence Square. Ihor Kozik, the chairman of the Pora organization, which played a key part in the Orange Revolution, said on July 12 that the tents will remain until President Yushchenko dissolves the parliament. BYuT supporters clashed early on July 13 with supporters of the Party of Regions at the tent camp, Ukrainian TV reported. AM

PUTIN TELLS GERMANS THAT NEW PIPELINE IS IN THEIR INTEREST. President Vladimir Putin told German ZDF television in Moscow on July 13 that he is "surprised" that some Germans do not see the benefits of the planned North European Gas Pipeline (NEGP) running from Vyborg to Greifswald, RIA Novosti reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," December 12, 2005, and June 19 and 26, 2006). Putin stressed that the pipeline will involve "a mutual dependency that will create normal relations on global energy markets and in the political sphere in the historical perspective," adding that diversification of energy transportation routes directly benefits German and other European consumers. He wondered "why would you want to always depend on our transit agreements with Ukraine, or Belarus, or Poland? I was shocked, simply shocked by the fact that [politicians] in Germany, or other European countries, could not see their own interests." It is not clear which politicians Putin was referring to. The NEGP enjoys broad support within the German political class, and German business is generally very eager to expand contacts with Russia. PM