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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Ukrainian Compromise in Televised Talks

KIEV -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko hunkered down with political leaders Thursday to seek a way out of Ukraine's political stalemate, but his appeal for compromise was shattered when former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko lashed out against what she termed calls for artificial unity.

"In not a single democratic country in the world is it possible to unite all political forces," Tymoshenko said in an angry speech during a round-table discussion. "As a rule, there are those in power and the opposition."

Faced with the equally unattractive prospects of calling new elections or allowing his foe, Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych, to become prime minister, Yushchenko is looking for a solution as an Aug. 2 deadline to decide on Yanukovych's candidacy approaches.

"The moment of truth has come, we need to make a decision," Yushchenko said at the start of the round table, which was televised live.

Yushchenko proposed that all the parties sign a memorandum of national unity, which would safeguard freedom of speech, Ukraine's territorial integrity, liberal economic reforms, European integration efforts and support for only one national language, Ukrainian.

The tension in the room was obvious.

When Yanukovych went into a long-winded speech, Yushchenko pointedly interrupted to tell him he had been speaking too long. Later, as a Socialist Party official spoke, Yushchenko got up and went over to chat with former President Leonid Kravchuk.