[Marxism] Ukraine Parliament Votes to Sack Government Over Gas Deal

Louis R Godena louisgodena at ids.net
Tue Jan 10 15:37:50 MST 2006

So much for Yushchenko's "victory" over Russia!

Almost half the deputies of Yushchenko's party Our Ukraine chose not to vote.

By Tom Warner in Kiev and Financial Times reporters
London, United Kingdom, Tuesday, January 10 2006

 The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday voted to oust Prime Minister Yuri 
Yekhanurov's government over last week's gas deal with Russia which in 
effect doubled the price of gas to the country.

A no-confidence motion was backed by 250 deputies in the 450-seat 
parliament, outraged by the deal with Russia. Mr Yekhanurov claimed 
the vote was not legally binding and vowed to continue in office until 
parliamentary elections, due in March. Analysts disagreed whether 
parliament had the power to dismiss the cabinet.

Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister of Ukraine and once a close 
ally of President Viktor Yushchenko, backed opposition efforts to sack 
officials who agreed to the sharp rise in gas prices.

Her faction in parliament supported the no-confidence vote overwhelmingly, 
as did the Communist Party and the Popular Bloc, the party of parliamentary 
speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, also formerly one of the president's allies. 

Almost half the deputies of Mr Yushchenko's party Our Ukraine chose not 
to vote.

Ms Tymoshenko has made every effort to harness opposition to last week's 
gas agreement with the intention of weakening Mr Yushchenko's party before 
the elections. Under the deal, Kiev will pay $95 per 1,000 cubic metres for a 
mixture of Russian and Turkmen gas, compared with $50 it was paying for 
Russian gas.

Mr Yushchenko and Mr Yekhanurov described the gas deal as a victory of 
Ukrainian diplomacy that ended a crisis in which Russia sharply reduced gas 
supplies into the pipeline system that supplies Ukraine and many European 
countries, leading to shortages across the continent for several hours on 
January 2.

However, Ms Tymoshenko and others have criticised Mr Yekhanurov's 
government for agreeing to fix the rate charged to Russia for transit of its 
gas to Europe for five years while Ukraine received only a six-month 
guarantee on its gas import prices.

Industrial groups allied to opposition parties have also criticised the 
deal. On Monday they were joined by the Industrial Union of the Donbass, 
which imports gas independently from Uzbekistan and had been allied to 
Mr Yushchenko.  -30-

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