Yushchenko plays down rift in government

Other News Materials 30 September 2008 02:13 (UTC +04:00)

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko played down the political rift in his country's Parliament, saying during a meeting with US President George W Bush that Ukrainian democracy is strong enough to survive the uncertainty, dpa reported.

"We also discussed the domestic political situation in Ukraine, which in my opinion is far away from being tragic, and not dramatic," Yushchenko said at the White House.

"Ukraine has enough democratic resources and tools to give sufficient response to any crisis that may occur in the Ukrainian Parliament."

The coalition between Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc came apart earlier this month, mainly over disagreements between the two leader over Russia's invasion of Georgia.

Yushchenko has advocated pro-Western policies, while Tymoshenko sees Russia as playing a more important role in Ukraine's future and is trying to build a new coalition with pro-Russian parties. Failure to form a new government could bring elections as early as December.

Bush and Yushchenko also discussed energy issues and Ukraine's desire to join the NATO alliance. NATO earlier this year agreed to put Ukraine on the path to membership.