BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Opposition keeps up pressure on Kuchma
Elderly man looks on as riot police block protesters
The opposition accuses Mr Kuchma of corruption
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has rejected a demand for his resignation, after meeting leaders of three key opposition parties.

Following an all-night stand-off, three opposition deputies were finally admitted to see the president late on Wednesday morning.

Julia Tymoshenko
Opposition leader Tymoshenko says Kuchma should resign
But although Mr Kuchma agreed to meet the leaders, his response to their demands remained firm.

President Kuchma is also under pressure from the United States to explain allegations that Ukraine broke UN sanctions on Iraq by supplying sophisticated radar equipment.

Communist leader Petro Simonenko said Mr Kuchma had told the deputies he would not resign or agree to early elections, and would not "bow to the demands of the people".

The group brought with them a resolution adopted at mass protests against Mr Kuchma held across the country last week.

Opposition bloc leader Yulia Tymoshenko said there would be psychological pressure on the president to make him implement the resolution.

"The president and his entourage are so scared by the situation inside Ukraine and the world's reaction to it that it is possible to press on and make Leonid Kuchma resign," she was quoted as saying by Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

Crisis

The opposition accuses Mr Kuchma of worsening living standards and corruption.

President Leonid Kuchma
President Kuchma faces a raft of accusations

They also say he was involved in the killing two years ago of an opposition journalist, Georgiy Gongadze.

Mr Kuchma denies the allegations.

A BBC regional analyst says that, with Mr Kuchma making clear he will not leave office until he has served the remaining two years of his term, a sense of acute crisis pervades Ukraine.

Mr Kuchma was re-elected in November 1999 to a second five-year term and has since seen his poll ratings plunge.

One poll last week suggested that 70% of the population would like him to step down.

See also:

25 Sep 02 | Europe
23 Sep 02 | Europe
17 Sep 02 | Media reports
16 Sep 02 | Europe
21 Jul 02 | Country profiles
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes