Tymoshenko elected Ukraine prime minister

Dec. 18, 2007 at 1:51 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The Ukrainian parliament Tuesday voted to back pro-West Yulia Tymoshenko for prime minister by one vote.

Tymoshenko will replace Moscow-leaning Viktor Yanukovich, following a year-long political battle that ended with snap elections in September.

The Financial Times said a Tymoshenko-led government is expected to push Ukraine closer to joining NATO and to shake up relations with Russia, which could affect gas supplies to much of the European Union.

Tymoshenko, a major figure in Ukraine's Orange Revolution, has pledged to fight corruption and raise living standards. She is seen as a possible rival to President Viktor Yuschenko in the 2009 presidential election. A similar rivalry led to her ouster as prime minister in 2005, and the Times said "influential oligarchs" already are working to undermine her government.

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