“I wouldn’t dramatize the present relationship between Pres Yushchenko and Premier Tymoshenko. Their stand-off over Russian gas supplies is a personal rather than institutional issue, and will not lead to her resignation, political expert Anatoly Romaniuk told ZIK March 7.
"A critical point in their relationship will be whether Verkhovna Rada will approve the cabinet’s action plan, something the future of Tymoshenko hinges on. The distribution of powers in the new constitution between the president and premier may well become another tripping stone for Tymoshenko.
The current stand-off has its positive side, A. Romaniuk continues, as Ukrainians are becoming more aware of the fact that an effective system of checks and balances between the branches of power must be set in the new constitution.
“There is a tug-of-war between Pres Yushchenko and Premier Tymoshenko. The bottom line is not a dispute over gas supplies but the fight for leadership of the nation. I believe, Tymoshenko will be eventually sacked, probably in the fall, political expert Yury Shveda told ZIK March 7.
It is no secret that Yulia Tymoshenko will be Yushchenko’s major rival in the 2009 presidential election, and the incumbent is unlikely to sit on his hands seeing how Tymoshenko’s approval ratings are climbing, the political expert says.
In the wake of 2007 snap parliamentary elections Yushchenko agreed to Tymoshenko premiership hoping that her popularity will decline. It did not happen, and now the presidential secretariat has to bend over backwards to ensure Yushchenko’s lead in opinion surveys.
The present razor-thin majority in VR will be changed soon – due to several defections by Our Ukraine lawmakers, says Yury Shveda.
Comment by ZIK
While on a visit to Tadjikistan, Pres Yushchenko called Yulia Tymoshenko’s policy “the policy of adventure and intrigue.”
The incumbent said he was surprised to receive a letter from the premier in which she examined the gas issue. “I am not for maintaining the relationship between the president and premier by mail. We meet several times a week, and if the premier sought to share her opinion on the gas issue and not to hype herself, she could have done it during our meetings,” Yushchenko remarked, hinting Tymoshenko was pursuing other goals.