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Ukraine's Yushchenko wants coalition to spell out NATO position


KIEV, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's president said Friday that a parliamentary coalition agreement should contain a more precise position on the country's relations with NATO.

The former communist country has consistently said it wants to join the alliance, but the current version of the coalition agreement mentions a proactive policy on Ukraine's rapprochement with it but not on integration.

Viktor Yushchenko said this position was "too vague."

He also said he was concerned about the position on the land privatization and urged the coalition to outline the exact structure of the government and principles of governmental committees' activities.

The president said he hoped talks on an agreement to form a parliamentary coalition would be completed by next Wednesday, June 7, as Roman Bessmertny, the leader of pro-presidential grouping Our Ukraine, had said earlier.

Our Ukraine has been involved in complicated talks with the bloc of a former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, and the Socialist Party to establish the majority needed for the parliament to function in the wake of March 26 elections that failed to produce a clear winner.

The mooted coalition, which could bring an end to the parliamentary limbo that has paralyzed Ukrainian politics since the March elections, now comprises Tymoshenko's bloc and the Socialist Party. Our Ukraine has yet to sign the agreement.

Negotiations on forming a coalition, as mandated in the country's constitution, have been complicated over disagreements on who should be appointed prime minister, and over Tymoshenko's refusal to deal with the pro-Russia Party of Regions, which came first in the parliamentary elections and holds 186 seats but has been frozen out of the coalition.

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