An article in the normally serious daily 'Obozrevatel', entitled "Frankenstein comes to life - coalition of three almost a reality", claims that talks between BYuT, Party of Regions, and Lytvyn's Bloc [BL] on the formation of a major new parliamentary coalition are now well advanced.
The parties are agreed on neutral status for Ukraine, retention of the status quo on Russian and the Black Sea fleet, membership of the CIS and membership of the GUAM bloc [Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Modova].
Government posts are to be 'divvied up' as follows: three first vice-premier's to PoR, the entire economic block to PoR, and social and humanitarian ministries to BYuT. Customs and tax administration to PoR, anti-monopoly committee, Treasury and and National Reserve to BYuT. According to the new agreement, BL are to be granted control over the Ministry of Transport, the National Bank, State Property Fund and several minor departments.
Most significantly, 'Oboz' claims the parties have practically agreed on a new constitutional reform program for Ukraine. Having changed the Constitution, they want to transform Ukraine into parliamentary republic. Under their agreement, the new President will be chosen by the Verkhovna Rada, and this is to occur once president Yushchenko has been impeached. The VR will then select Viktor Yanukovych as president whilst Yulia Tymoshenko will remains Prime minister and Volodymyr Lytvyn remains in the VR speaker's chair.
A moratorium on all-Ukrainian elections will be declared until 2015; i.e. the present parliament will prolong its existence for a further 3 years beyond the present constitutional norm.
The article does state that there is still a lack of trust between the parties, but claims: "the level of readiness of agreement between the three parties is about 85%". Volodymyr Lytvyn seems to be the main driving force for these most significant proposals.
A PoR-BYuT deal has been a possibility after last summer's plotting on the high seas and voting in the VR.
Tonight, on TV, PoR 'mouthpiece' Hanna Herman confirmed that her party supports the impeachment of president Yushchenko, and said, "We have a lot of deputies who consider that in BYuT there are very many interesting people, pragmatic, with whom we could work, with whom it is easier to work with that with Our Ukraine."
And 'Segodnya' reports SBU chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko's attitude to PM Tymoshenko and her party has become markedly sweeter after the party's somewhat unexpected support in the VR to confirm his appointment as state security head. Maybe he realises in which the direction the wind is beginning to blow..