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UKRAINIAN PREMIER TELLS MINISTERS TO GO ABOUT BUSINESS AS USUAL. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych on October 17 called on members of the Cabinet of Ministers to work as a team despite the recent switch of the Our Ukraine bloc to the opposition (see "RFE/RL Newsline," October 17, 2006), Interfax-Ukraine reported. "We should remain calm and work as we have worked," Yanukovych said at a cabinet meeting. "I wish us to continue cooperating, and let nothing change in connection with the processes under way in the country. The attitude of ministers to business must be the same as always," he added. Our Ukraine has delegated five ministers to Yanukovych's cabinet, including Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, who was appointed by President Viktor Yushchenko. Our Ukraine leader Roman Bezsmertnyy said on October 17 that the bloc is withdrawing its ministers from the government but was unable to predict when they will officially step down. "[The issue] is to be decided in the ongoing dialogue with the president of Ukraine and the parties of our bloc," he told journalists. JM
YULIYA TYMOSHENKO BLOC INVITES OUR UKRAINE TO SIGN OPPOSITION ACCORD. Oleksandr Turchynov, deputy head of the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) parliamentary caucus, told journalists on October 17 that the BYuT expects to coordinate opposition activities with Our Ukraine, Interfax-Ukraine reported. "We hope that the decision of Our Ukraine to join the opposition will not be abandoned tomorrow," Turchynov said, adding that the withdrawal of Our Ukraine ministers from Prime Minister Yanukovych's cabinet could pave the way for a cooperation agreement between the BYuT and Our Ukraine and the subsequent formation of a shadow cabinet. JM