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Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will attend the inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych as president of Ukraine, a source in the Moscow Patriarchate said on Friday.
The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for February 25. However, it may be delayed over a legal appeal by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who lost the February 7 runoff by 3.48%.
Tymoshenko has refused to concede defeat, and appealed to Ukraine's Supreme Administrative Court on Tuesday, claiming election fraud and demanding ballots be recounted in three Ukrainian regions.
The court on Wednesday suspended the Central Electoral Commission's official announcement that Yanukovych had won the presidential elections.
Tymoshenko addressed the court on Friday, but despite the hearing continuing into the evening, the court has yet to rule on her appeal.
Patriarch Kirill was one of the first to congratulate Yanukovich on the victory, even before all the ballots had been counted. He urged the new Ukrainian leader to assume "responsibility to God, people and history."
MOSCOW, February 19 (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.