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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Ukraine has not preserved its 1991 borders. The signing of the Geneva memorandum on April 17 reaffirmed the willingness of Russia, the United States and EU countries to reach a compromise. While the sides continue to trade tough talk and symbolic sanctions, the Kremlin and the White House are also holding a parallel dialogue on the coordinated geopolitical revision of Eastern Europe.