Russian lawmakers overwhelmingly condemned Friday the Ukrainian president`s order to dissolve "a legitimately elected parliament" as a way of settling political differences, according to RIA Novosti.

"The decree to dissolve parliament signed by the president of Ukraine has made the situation [in the country] increasingly complicated, threatening to drive political forces outside the legal framework," the State Duma, parliament`s lower house, said in a statement.

Ukraine has been caught up in a political crisis since President Viktor Yushchenko ordered Monday the dissolution of the Supreme Rada and early elections. The parliament, which is dominated by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych`s supporters, has refused to obey until a Constitutional Court rules on the decrees.

Political tensions in the country have since spiraled, with coalition and opposition protesters facing off in the capital.

The State Duma also urged Ukraine`s Constitutional Court to rule on the move. But lawmakers said the court had to make a political, rather than a legal, decision, which could undermine its authority.

A senior State Duma member said Ukrainian law allows the president to dissolve parliament for three reasons - if the Supreme Rada fails to form a majority coalition within a month after elections, if a new government is not formed within two months after dismissal, and over a lack of a quorum at the first parliamentary session following elections.

Therefore, Konstantin Zatulin said, the president had no legal grounds for what he did.

"State Duma members share the assessment of the decree by Ukrainian lawmakers and Constitutional Law experts, who say it contradicts current provisions in Ukraine`s Constitution," he said.