Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has denied his party has become politically irrelevant and has hinted at a possible coalition with Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoszenko’s Batkivshchyna party after the forthcoming Ukrainian presidential elections due to take place in May.
The Deputy Prime Minister has fuelled speculation he is positioning for a coalition with the former Ukraine prime minister at the next election by saying Ms Tymoszenko’s party has changed for the better since she was released from prison.
Talking in an interview with BBC Radio 4 on Saturday night, Mr Clegg said that if such a deal was made, the Lib Dems would set out to restrain the Ukrainian opposition:
“I think there’s nothing like the prospect of reality in an election to get politicians to think again and the Batkivshchyna Party is realising that it might have to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats if it doesn’t win the presidential election.”
“There is just no doubt in my mind that if there were a Batkivshchyna-Liberal Democrat coalition, we the Liberal Democrats would absolutely insist that the Ukrainian government did not ignore us like the Tories have,” he said.
In response to Mr Clegg’s comments, a spokesperson for Ms Tymoszenko’s Batkivshchyna party said:
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