Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko attacked her presidential election rival Viktor Yanukovych over his refusal to take part in a televised debate on Monday.
"Today I have to look at an empty space and debate with an empty space," Tymoshenko said on the country's Channel 1. "It is important that this empty space does not occupy the post of the Ukrainian president."
She also called Yanukovych a "coward" and said she could smell the "scent of fear."
Opposition leader Yanukovych explained his decision to stay away from yet another televised debate with Tymoshenko by saying he had "other plans" for Monday evening and would not "compete in the championship of lies."
Yanukovych comfortably won the first round of Ukraine's presidential vote on January 17 and will face off Tymoshenko in a February 7 runoff.
The country's president, Viktor Yushchenko, received just 5% of the vote in the first round.
KIEV, February 1 (RIA Novosti)
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We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.