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     EU welcomes back Yanukovich  <<back  next>>

The EU has congratulated Ukranian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich on his return to power.

Defeated in the 2004 "Orange Revolution", the pro-Moscow politician now heads the Regions party that has the biggest contingent in parliament.

Finnish prime minister Matti Vanhanen – and current holder of the EU presidency – offered his congratulations following the dramatic comeback.

“We hope that the difficult process of government formation after the March elections will be followed by good and transparent cooperation between the government, the parliament and the office of the president of Ukraine,” Vanhanen said in a statement over the weekend.

Brussels hopes Yanukovich’s appointment will end the political crisis that followed an inconclusive in March.

The turmoil led to fist-fights in parliament.

Eventually after months of talks a pro-Russian coalition was formed.

But for those who took part in the Orange Revolution the result represents a bitter twist.

Yanukovych was the disgraced loser of the presidential election when allegations of major vote-rigging sparked mass protests.

But this time around his nomination was approved by his arch-rival president Viktor Yushchenko - the man who led the popular protests and promised closer ties to Europe.

8 August 2006

 Last updated: 16/08/2006 11:20:00

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