Russia will help Ukraine tackle an escalating political crisis if its former Soviet ally requests assistance, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday, according to RIA Novosi.

President Viktor Yushchenko ordered the dissolution of parliament dominated by the Russian-leaning premier`s supporters and early elections Monday following mass opposition rallies in Kyiv at the weekend. The Supreme Rada referred the order to the Constitution Court and continued regular work pending its decision.

"The final decision is up to the Ukrainian side, but if Kyiv requests assistance and we can help, Russia will by all means respond," Lavrov said.

Lavrov said the dispute between the pro-presidential forces and the premier-led majority coalition should be resolved in line with the Constitution and through dialogue, echoing foreign organizations` appeals earlier Tuesday for a democratic approach to the situation.

"We are sincerely interested in Ukraine`s sustainable development within the Constitution," the minister said.