04:12 GMT +3 hours29 November 2014
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Yanukovych says Tigipko accepts top post in Ukrainian government

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Sergei Tigipko, a major player in Ukrainian politics after finishing third in the presidential elections, agreed on Wednesday to become a deputy prime minister, President Viktor Yanukovych said.

Sergei Tigipko, a major player in Ukrainian politics after finishing third in the presidential elections, agreed on Wednesday to become a deputy prime minister, President Viktor Yanukovych said.

The president's press service said Tigipko accepted Yanukovych's offer at a meeting between the two on Wednesday of the senior government position, which would give him responsibility for Ukraine's battered economy.

"Sergei Tigipko is not a member of any party in the parliament. The people of Ukraine showed him great support in the last presidential election, thus supporting changes and reforms. Tigipko is a good candidate to supervise the economic bloc," Yanukovych said.

Tigipko has not commented on the meeting.

The former central banker came third in the January 17 first round of Ukraine's presidential elections, dominated by Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko. Yanukovych won the runoff and was inaugurated on February 25, while the Ukrainian parliament last week dismissed the government led by Tymoshenko.

The new president named Tigipko, ex-parliament speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Mykola Azarov, a leader of Yanukovych's Party of Regions, to be the main candidates for the post of prime minister.

Yatsenyuk held talks with Yanukovych on Tuesday, but turned down the offer of a high post in the government, saying he would become part of the opposition.

KIEV, March 10 (RIA Novosti)