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Ukrainian Opposition Blocks First Parliament Session of New Year

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Ukrainian opposition parties blocked the first parliament session of 2014, reiterating demands for the government to be dismissed and police to be held accountable for what they call a crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Speaker Volodymyr Rybak announced a break until 4 p.m. today in the capital, Kiev, to allow talks with parliamentary groups in his office. He said yesterday that lawmakers may adopt this year’s budget -- due for a vote in two days -- without deliberations should opposition block the legislature, the Unian newswire reported.

President Viktor Yanukovych is seeking to weather the biggest street demonstrations in almost a decade, which began after he snubbed a European integration accord in favor of a $15 billion bailout from Russia. Opposition blocked parliament last month having failed to oust the government of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov in a Dec. 3 confidence vote.

Opposition leaders including former world heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko object to the draft budget, particularly increased spending on law enforcement.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kateryna Choursina in Kiev at kchoursina@bloomberg.net; Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at dkrasnolutsk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net; Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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