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RUSSIAN LEGISLATOR DENIES DUMA IS INTERFERING IN UKRAINIAN AFFAIRS. State Duma Deputy Aleksandr Krutov of the Motherland (Rodina) party said in Kyiv on April 11 that the Russian legislature's April 6 statement supporting the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada and denouncing President Viktor Yushchenko's decree dissolving it and calling early parliamentary elections does not constitute interference in Ukrainian politics, news agencies reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," April 3, 4, and 5, 2007). He argued that the declaration "is not interference in [Ukraine's] internal affairs. It is an assessment of the Ukrainian president's decree. Anybody, any organization, any country may give their assessment to any legal act in any country. The State Duma has given its own assessment and it is fully entitled to do so." He added that "the [Ukrainian] Constitutional Court, which each side counts on, must say its word. The Constitutional Court judges should not shift responsibility to the street, but they should make their wise decision in accordance with Ukrainian law." PM
SUPPORTERS OF UKRAINIAN PREMIER, PRESIDENT HOLD RALLIES IN KYIV. Supporters of the Ukrainian opposition and supporters of the ruling coalition held rival rallies in Kyiv on April 11, Interfax reported. Pavlo Zhebrivskyy of the Our Ukraine Party, who addressed the opposition rally on European Square, described current developments in Ukraine as "treachery for 30 pieces of silver." Another Our Ukraine deputy, Ksenya Lyapina said that "the president has dissolved a Verkhovna Rada that was based on treachery." "The president has dissolved it because it has violated the constitution. The president dissolved it legally and constitutionally," she added. Several thousand supporters of Prime Minister Viktor Yanykovych gathered on Independence Square. "Supporters of the coalition have gathered on central squares throughout Ukraine...to demonstrate to our notorious opposition that...all want a stable Ukraine and do not want any confrontation between the east and west of the country," Transportation and Communications Minister Mykola Rudkovsky told the rally. Communist Party caucus leader Petro Symonenko said that the ruling coalition set the main task of unifying Ukraine "via patriotism and purging government from its 'Orange' intoxication." "The 'Orange' forces want to force us to live not in compliance with the law, or even with our beliefs, but to follow instructions from abroad," he said. Symonenko also reiterated his demand for the abolition of the office of president. AM
UKRAINIAN PREMIER INSISTS ON SIMULTANEOUS PARLIAMENTARY, PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. Prime Minister Yanukovych said while addressing supporters of the ruling coalition at the April 11 rally in Kyiv that early parliamentary elections in Ukraine are possible if they are held simultaneously with early presidential elections, Interfax reported. "If elections are held, they should be held simultaneously -- both parliamentary and presidential -- and they should be held within the framework of law," Yanukovych said. He also warned his supporters that early elections could result in the previous government returning to power. Yanukovych later told journalists that President Yushchenko should not enforce his decree dissolving parliament until the Constitutional Court rules on its compliance with the constitution. AM
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT OFFERS PREMIER ACTION PLAN TO RESOLVE POLITICAL CRISIS. President Yushchenko offered Prime Minister Yanukovych during their meeting on April 10 a 15-point action plan to resolve the political crisis in Ukraine, Interfax reported on April 11. Yushchenko and Yanukovych agreed not to publish details of the plan before a decision by Yanukovych supporters on how to proceed. Yushchenko said that one part of the plan concerns accurately assessing the steps that led to the crisis. "The second part is substantial. This is the essence of the compromises we should take in the context of effects of the decree on the Verkhovna Rada's dissolution to rebalance the system of power," Yushchenko said. "The third part is dedicated to systematic consultations, which should be resumed between the political forces in the parliament," he added. AM