“Ukraine Coalition Collapses Under Georgian Pressure”

“Ukraine, like Georgia, has risked the Kremlin’s wrath by applying to join Nato. But while Mr Yushchenko flew to Tbilisi to show his support for Georgia, Mrs Tymoshenko refused to criticise Russia’s actions.

Instead, she formed an alliance with the man he replaced as president in 2004 – Victor Yanukovich and his former Communist allies.

In the run-up to that election, Mr Yushchenko was maimed after suffering dioxin poisoning – an attack attributed to Kremlin agents.

“The new coalition formed by Tymoshenko, Yanukovich and the Communists will not serve Ukraine’s interests,” he said. “Citizens will see that their policies will not protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, its independence and its European integration course.”

For her part, Mrs Tymoshenko has accused the president of recklessly antagonising Russia and said there was no justification for the crisis. “A democratic coalition was ruined yesterday on his instructions,” she told the weekly cabinet meeting. “This is panic. A democratic coalition has to work.

“The president and his office have used every means to ruin the coalition. It is a pity that the president is behaving irresponsibly.”

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