Yushchenko postpones his annual Rada speech

12:12, 05 February 2008
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The coalition and the opposition failed to reach understanding

President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko has postponed his annual speech in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, President’s Press Secretary Iryna Vannikova disclosed this to journalists today.

According to her, this decision was made because the coalition and the opposition failed to reach understanding and compromise, and unblock the work of the Verkhovna Rada.

Yushchenko was expected to address lawmakers Tuesday, but the opposition, which had blocked the podium for the past two weeks over the declared intention to join NATO, had refused to cooperate.

The Regions Party, the largest opposition group controlling 175 seats in the 450-seat Parliament, leads the protests ever since Ukraine’s leaders have requested to join the Membership Action Plan, the program preceding the accession to NATO.

Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Parliamentary Speaker Arseniy Yatseniuk asked NATO for permission to join the MAP as soon as in April. That could technically lead to Ukraine’s accession to NATO within the next two years.

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