The PoR/BYuT party coalition talks having collapsed, their leaders Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko have instantly declared they will both stand for president in elections taking place in half a year's time.
Most commentators consider both parties entered into negotiations for cynical, self-serving purposes - dividing political power between themselves and shutting out other political opponents.
Despite their failure to come to agreement, it would appear both sides entered their long and difficult negotiations in a serious and committed manner. And it is likely that negotiations between the two biggest Ukrainian political parties will again be rejoined, both on ammending the constitution, and on a common economic crisis resolution program, after the presidential elections, as both agree these are the most critical matters requiring attention.
Most speculations on the parties' secret negotiations had been focussed on constitutional issues, but one of PoR's most senior figures, Boris Kolesnikov, also mentioned economic matters in an interview in 'Segodnya' last Friday.
Here is a portion:
Qu - What the point of moving parliamentary elections 15 months forward from September 2012 to the Spring of 2014?
A - The central objective of this extension [is that] this [would be] the end of the first stage of reforms for overcoming the crisis. In order to restore production volumes and to go further, two and a half years would not be sufficient.
Qu Do you have some concrete reform plan already? For example, the first 10, 50, 100 steps?
A - I would not want to get ahead of myself, but, certainly, such a plan exists or, to be more precise, is near finalisation. Soon the leaders of our parties [PoR and BYuT] will announce it. But certainly, it will be directed toward the creation of favorable conditions for the attraction of investments. Including by means of reductions in taxes. Further - the state's policy must be transparent for investors. The supremacy of the law, guarantees of investments, are necessary.
Qu - Can you tell us the order of actions: what comes first - changing the constitution or forming the coalition?
A There is no point to forming a coalition without [first making] constitutional changes. So first changes to the constitution, acceptance in the first reading, and then formation of a coalition as a mechanism for realising the constitutional changes.