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    Ukrainian premier makes u-turn to save coalition

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    In a major turnaround, Ukraine's prime minister said on Thursday she was ready to accept any conditions set by the president and his team to salvage the ruling coalition and avoid early parliamentary elections.

    KIEV, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - In a major turnaround, Ukraine's prime minister said on Thursday she was ready to accept any conditions set by the president and his team to salvage the ruling coalition and avoid early parliamentary elections.

    "I am appealing to him [the president]: Today I will accept any conditions to preserve the coalition and guarantee parliament's work," Yulia Tymoshenko said.

    The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers approved state budget amendments to allocate funding for early parliamentary elections, the country's defense minister, Yuriy Yekhanurov, said earlier Thursday.

    Tymoshenko said the Cabinet had unanimously approved the decision, adding that the bill would be submitted to parliament Thursday evening.

    She also said the International Monetary Fund was ready to grant Ukraine a loan of $3 billion to $14 billion to help the country overcome the financial crisis, but added the credit would only be provided if the early elections were postponed.

    The government refused Tuesday to allocate election campaign funds and urged President Viktor Yushchenko to reverse a decision calling for early parliamentary polls.

    Yushchenko dissolved the legislature and called early polls for December 7 after his ruling "orange" coalition with Tymoshenko's bloc collapsed when the premier's party sided with the opposition in passing a law to cut the president's powers.

    The government had been ordered to allocate $80 million from the state reserve for the election campaign on Monday.

    Yushchenko and Tymoshenko, leaders of the 2004 "Orange Revolution," have drifted apart over a host of issues, including Russia's war with Georgia in August. Both are expected to run for president in 2010.

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