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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN RULING COALITION WANTS ROUNDTABLE ON POLITICAL CRISIS. Raisa Bohatyryova, the lawmaker who coordinates the parties of Ukraine's ruling coalition in the Verkhovna Rada, pledged on May 14 that the anticrisis working group created earlier this month will do "as much as possible" within the next two days to prepare all documents needed to hold early parliamentary elections, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported. Bohatyryova added that the ruling coalition of the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party, and the Communist Party will then propose roundtable talks with the participation of President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych to decide on a further course of action. Meanwhile, lawmaker Yosyp Vinskyy of the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc said the same day that the working group is "unlikely" to reach a compromise on early polls on May 15 in time to set the date for elections on May 16, as agreed by Yushchenko and Yanukovych last week (see "RFE/RL Newsline," May 14, 2007). Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko was similarly skeptical, telling journalists on May 15 that it will be "difficult" for the working group to agree on snap elections, UNIAN reported. JM

UKRAINIAN LAWMAKER WARNS AGAINST VIOLENCE. Taras Chornovil, a lawmaker of the ruling Party of Regions, said in the Verkhovna Rada on May 15 that a "party of war around the president" has prepared "a number of actions to whip up tensions and initiate very severe provocations" in Ukraine in the hope that the current political crisis will turn violent, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website ( reported. According to Chornovil, the "party of war" is led by Presidential Secretariat head Viktor Baloha. Chornovil asserted that President Yushchenko dismissed National Security and Defense Council head Vitaliy Hayduk last week because Hayduk had refused to obey Yushchenko's "dirty orders" intended to further destabilize the situation in Ukraine. "According to our information, representatives of the party of war have already instructed one servile, ultraleftist, nonparliamentary provoke mass disorder so as to provide grounds for introducing a state of emergency, direct presidential rule, and other [measures]," Chornovil said. "I want to warn them against crossing that line." JM