Ukrainian president urges end to parliament brawls

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KIEV. December 25. KAZINFORM Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has urged an end to parliament brawls, calling on the opposing sides to be reconciled with each other or be held accountable. Kazinform refers to RIA Novosti.

Deputies from the ruling Party of Regions attacked members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc-Batkivshchyna alliance after the opposition party members protested against a criminal case against Tymoshenko, blocking the speaking rostrum on December 16. Five opposition deputies were hospitalized.

Numerous brawls also broke out in the Supreme Rada in April during a vote on a controversial deal with Russia, extending Russian naval presence in the country until 2042.

"This should be stopped. How can this be achieved? Either through holding those guilty, established during the investigation, accountable under the law, or by having the opposing sides apologize to one another and say this will not repeat," Yanukovych said in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels on Friday.

"We lack political culture," he said.

Tymoshenko was accused earlier in the week of illegally using proceeds from sales of carbon emission quotas under the Kyoto Protocol to pay pensions. Prosecutors have placed travel restrictions on Tymoshenko, preventing her from leaving Kiev without permission.

She has also been accused of spending 100 million euros ($131 million) from government reserves to buy cars that she later used in her presidential campaign, the Prosecutor General's Office said Friday.

Tymoshenko has long been at odds with the current president, Viktor Yanukovych, to whom she narrowly lost February's presidential elections. Tymoshenko was prime minister under the previous presidency of Viktor Yushchenko, but moved to opposition after her government was dissolved in March following the elections.

Tymoshenko supporters accuse the Yanukovych government of pursuing "pro-Russian" policies and betraying Ukraine's national interests and claim that a "campaign" against their leader is aimed at wiping out opposition. Kazinform cits RIA Novosti. See www.en.rian.ru

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