Ukraine's pro-West government survives no confidence motion

Ukraine's pro-West government survives no confidence motion Kiev  - Ukraine's embattled government on Thursday survived a parliament motion of no confidence, with the legislative opposition failing to assemble to votes needed to throw out the country's pro- Europe leadership.

A total 203 MPs out of the 450-seat house voted in favour of considering a no confidence motion, almost all from the pro-Russia Regions Ukraine party, or the anti-capitalist Communist Party of Ukraine.

Bulgarian president backs pipelines bypassing Ukraine

BulgariaMoscow - Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov meeting in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, on Thursday called for more urgency in building alternative pipeline routes to carry Russian gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine.

The former Soviet state, which is almost wholly dependent on Russian gas for heat, was severely hit by a dispute between Russia and Ukraine last month that severed its supplies of gas for nearly two weeks amid freezing temperatures.

Kiev mayor targets dead taxpayers to cover city hall deficit

Kiev mayor targets dead taxpayers to cover city hall deficitKiev  - It used to be that Kiev City Hall stopped trying to make money off taxpayers once they were finally dead.

That was before the world financial crisis struck the Ukrainian capital - and Kiev Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky's scheme to make visiting a municipal cemetery, and one's deceased relatives, subject to an admission fee.

The six-dollar equivalent entrance charge would, as first described by Chernovetsky subordinates last week, is taken from every man, woman, or child entering a cemetery within Kiev city limits.

Ukraine's Klitschko: King is blocking title fight against Valuev

Wladimir KlitschkoKiev - The Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Wladimir Klitschko on Wednesday accused US boxing promoter Don King of blocking an undisputed world heavyweight title bout against Russian Nikolai Valuev.

Klitschko, 33, holds the IBF, WBO, and IBO world heavyweight titles. A fight between Klitschko and Valuev, holder of the WBA heavyweight belt, would arguably make the winner the world's unchallenged top heavyweight fighter.

Wladimir Klitschko's older brother Vitali, holds the WBC belt, but both Klitschkos have rejected the idea of their ever fighting each other.

Financial crisis strands giant evergreen in Kiev's central square

UkraineKiev - The international financial crisis and its devastating impact on Ukrainian state revenues has stranded a 40- metre Christmas tree in the central square of the capital Kiev, the Interfax news agency reported Tuesday.

Near-empty city hall accounts and outstanding debt have left the Kiev city government without funds to dismantle the evergreen erected for end-of-the-year holidays, said Oleksandr Brihinets, a Kiev city deputy.

"The tree could be still standing until St. Valentines' Day... and maybe even until May," Brihinets said. "The city has no money."

Ukraine will honour gas deal, Yushchenko vows

Russia, Ukraine Brussels - Ukraine will stand by the terms of the deal which ended its gas row with Russia, even though not all the details are to its liking, President Viktor Yushchenko said on Tuesday.

"The agreements signed are not easy ones, but Ukraine fully takes up the performance (of its commitments) and guarantees full-fledged transit to European consumers," Yushchenko told journalists in Brussels after a meeting with the head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.