Bush calls Polish leader on Ukraine

Nov. 30, 2004 at 3:45 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. officials from President Bush down have been engaged in telephone diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

Bush spoke with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski to express "strong support" for Europe's role in resolving Ukraine's disputed election, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. Kwasniewski is going to Ukraine Wednesday to help mediate the crisis.

Ukraine is in chaos following presidential elections which were won, according to official results, by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich. The opposition, backed by the United States and the European Union, has alleged massive fraud that cost pro-Western candidate Viktor Yushchenko.

Separately, Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke with European Union High Representative Javier Solana who is in Kiev to mediate. On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage spoke with Yanukovich and Yushchenko "to encourage both of them to look for peaceful democratic efforts to resolve all the questions related to the fraudulent election," Boucher added.

Boucher said the United States welcomed outgoing President Leonid Kuchma's suggestion Monday of a new election as a way out of the impasse.

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