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Ukrainian president agrees to accept Viktor Yanukovich as prime minister

“In nominating Viktor Yanukovich for the office of prime minister, we are keeping the greatest promise made on Independence Square: promoting understanding between the two banks of the Dniepr!” said an exhausted President Viktor Yushchenko.


A week of midnight performances has ended in Kiev with an agreement being signed – despite plenty of nervous tension as agreements were reached and immediately broken. “In nominating Viktor Yanukovich for the office of prime minister, we are keeping the greatest promise made on Independence Square: promoting understanding between the two banks of the Dniepr!” said an exhausted President Viktor Yushchenko.

“The time has come for goodwill in relations between everyone, with no divisions of any kind,” said Yanukovich. “We are all children of Ukraine. We are one people, united and indivisible.”

A sigh of relief swept through the Supreme Rada, where ordinary members earn $5,000 per month plus all kinds of benefits. It’s the highest-paid parliament in Europe! And now it won’t be dissolved. The Regions Party had said that it wasn’t afraid of a new election. All the same, no one wanted to lose their salaries and decision-making powers.

While persuading Yanukovich’s team to sign the agreement, Yushchenko kept repeating that “people aren’t interested in federalism.” It appears that the Donetsk team was prepared to agree, for the sake of gaining control of the Ukrainian economy. That’s exactly how things were for them in the Kuchma era, when state ideology came from Lviv and money for its implementation came from the Donbass.

The Orange forces are rejoicing – look, Yanukovich has made concessions on the use of the Russian language, abandoned his support for the Moscow Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church, agreed to integration into NATO. “Otherwise, the Rada would have ceased to exist!” Yushchenko is talking of uniting parliamentary parties around the existing domestic and foreign policy course. “We’re starting from a clean slate, and intend to implement the ideas of Independence Square.” But a great deal has been written on that slate over the past 18 months. Will the millions of Yanukovich-supporters agree to continue reading this text?

Viktor Yushchenko declared 2006 to be the Year of the Village. So far, it’s been enough to drive the black-soiled Polatava region mad.

A year has been lost to maneuvering in senior offices. And the politicians are still where they started – or rather, with the same people.

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