The three parties that backed Ukraine’s Orange Revolution are discussing cabinet posts now that they have kissed and made up – agreeing to form a new coalition government. Yulia Tymoshenko is poised to return as prime minister. She has long insisted on being reinstated on the grounds her bloc outscored other liberals in a March election.
Having fired her eight months ago and resisted her comeback for weeks, President Victor Yushchenko is now set to nominate Tymoshenko on Monday. But even before she is back in the hotseat, she has sparked a new row with powerful neighbour Russia by demanding a review of a gas deal imposing steep price increases for imports.Russian gas monopoly Gazprom supplies a quarter of Europe’s gas needs – delivering up to 80 percent of this through Ukraine. But tensions over Moscow’s decision to raise the low price it charged Ukraine for gas led to interruptions in supplies to Western Europe in January. Gazprom sources are warning of potential fresh shortages in the West, accusing Ukraine of taking gas it is not entitled to – something Kiev denies.