Ukraine's "orange" coalition to keep striving for NATO, EU

Other News Materials 19 October 2007 04:00 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti ) - The Ukrainian "orange" coalition announced on Thursday that it intended to continue a policy aimed at integration into NATO and the EU while maintaining equal and neighborly relations with Russia.

The two groups in the coalition, the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc and the Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense bloc, also said Ukraine's main priority remains to preserve the status of a country supplying 80% of Russian natural gas to Europe and to create new capabilities to export gas from Central Asia to the European Union.

However, one of the future government's tasks would be to establish economically substantiated payments for the transit of Russian oil through Ukraine, according to an agreement between the two blocs.

The September 30 snap election was won by the pro-Russian Party of Regions, who gained 34.32% of the votes, or 175 seats in parliament. Tymoshenko's bloc collected 30.71% of votes, followed by Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense with 14.15%.

On October 15, the two opposition blocs signed an agreement to establish a coalition, which would have between them 228 seats, two seats more than required for a majority in the 450-seat Supreme Rada.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said Thursday that he believes the first session of the new parliament will be held in late October or early November.

He also said that all the parties in the country's parliament should cooperate, and also have a common sense of responsibility for political stability. "Political stability is condition No. 1 for the nation's integrity, its consolidation and economic prosperity," he said.

According to the law, the first session of the Supreme Rada must be held not later than 30 days after the results of the election were announced. The election commission announced the results on October 5, but cannot publish them in government newspapers because the Communists, who made it into the Supreme Rada with 5.39% of the vote, have filed a lawsuit appealing the election results.