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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kiev Told to Form Cabinet Quickly

ReutersYushchenko, center, preparing for a group photo with Barroso, right, and Portugal's prime minister Friday in Kiev.
KIEV -- European Union leaders on Friday called on Ukrainian politicians to form a government quickly after parliamentary elections, to ensure political stability in the country.

The Sept. 30 vote is the product of a hard-won agreement between President Viktor Yushchenko and his rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. It is meant to ease a confrontation that has all but paralyzed the country's politics.

Speaking at the end of a summit with European Union officials, EU foreign and security affairs chief Javier Solana urged a quick formation of the Cabinet. It took lawmakers more than four months to pick a government following the March 2006 vote.

"The fact that we are here ... is real proof of our relationship, our trust in the development of your country, in the future of your country, in free and fair elections and the possibility of having a government as soon as possible," Solana told reporters.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stressed the need to work out and observe clear-cut rules.

"After the election, we trust that we can continue to work with Ukraine so that we can help Ukraine consolidate constitutional stability that is essential for the progress of this great country," Barroso said.

Yushchenko has pushed integration with the EU and NATO and sought to decrease Russia's influence.

Friday's summit did not yield any major breakthroughs, as officials discussed integration issues, easing visa regulations, nuclear security and economic cooperation. The leaders stressed their commitment to signing an "enhanced cooperation" agreement that will replace a Ukraine-EU accord currently in force.

Yushchenko urged European leaders to boost ties with his country. "Our European democratic choice is final and irreversible," he said.