Yushchenko reportedly asked Tymoshenko to submit a letter of resignation
Things are getting very testy between Viktor Yushchenko and his Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. According to the Weekly Mirror and Ukrainska Pravda, the President suggested that Tymoshenko submit her resignation and join an opposition party banging drums and blowing horns outside the parliament building. The outburts reportedly came during a meeting with Russian oil traders over the recent crisis in oil prices. According to four eyewitnesses, who later refused to comment publicly, Tymoshenko on three separate occasions publicly disagreed with the President's orders that oil prices remain answerable to market forces. Upon her third open disagreement Yushchenko reportedly suggested that she to submit her resignation.
Ukrayinska Pravda has the story:
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko publicly suggested that Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko write a letter of resignation.
According to the "Mirror Weekly" newspaper, this happened on Thursday during a meeting concerning the fuel crisis, with managers of Russian oil companies present.
This information was confirmed for Ukrayinska Pravda by four members of the meeting, but no one wanted to go on the record and comment officially.
Persons close to the PM said that from the start of the meeting, Tymoshenko pointed out that she disagreed with the first part of the president's decree on the fuel crisis, in which the activities of the Cabinet to enforce prices were a in violation with the principles of market economy.
The President offered her to join the opposition SDPU(u) party and to write a letter of resignation. He then invited everyone except for Tymoshenko for a glass of champagne in another room.
Sources close to the President told the Mirror Weekly of the following events: "The president asked Russian oil companies to behave in a friendly way towards Ukraine and to not create fuel crises every time there's a sowing campaign."
"He also said that the government excessively used non-market means to control the crisis. Yuliya Tymoshenko, however, said that she does not agree with the president's decree and is certain that she has done everything correctly."
The President did not want to pursue this discussion and asked Tymoshenko to refrain from making comments that demonstrate disunity in the Ukrainian branches of government.
Tymoshenko repeated once more that she does not agree with the President's assessments. After a reply from the President she has repeated her point for the third time, at the same time thanking two oil companies from Ukraine and Tatarstan region of Russia, and noted that she will have a separate discussion with other Russian oil companies.
"The Prime Minister have allowed herself something unimaginable - to criticize the decisions of the President in a meeting with foreign investors," the source explains. "After this, the President replied that in this case Tymoshenko can submit a letter of resignation and to join the "Regions of Ukraine" and SDPU(u) parties in blowing horns and hitting drums outside the government buildings [in protest]," a source said.