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Ukraine rivals in talks

KIEV: Ukraine's rival leaders met to discuss the date of a parliamentary election yesterday after President Viktor Yushchenko ordered troops from outside the capital to bolster security in Kiev.

After 24 hours of confusion over just who controlled more than 30,000 Interior Ministry troops, a top official said Yushchenko had ordered extra units into the capital. He described the operation as routine.

Weeks of political turmoil in Ukraine boiled over on Friday when the head of state said he was taking control of the ministry troops, a move denounced by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich as dangerous and unconstitutional.

Yanukovich, the president's rival from the upheaval of the 2004 "Orange Revolution", arrived for the talks at Yushchenko's office more than two hours later than planned.

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