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Ukraine's FM rejects US criticism of elections

(AP) Ukraine's FM rejects US criticism of elections
By DESMOND BUTLER
Associated Press
WASHINGTON
Ukraine's foreign minister is rejecting criticism by the United States of recent parliamentary elections and of the prosecution of political opposition.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, also said U.S. concern about Ukraine's adherence to World Trade Organization commitments is unfounded.

Gryshchenko was in Washington for a conference organized by a Ukrainian-American group. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sharply criticized Ukraine in a broad speech about U.S. relations with Europe.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk's office said in a statement that he expressed strong U.S. concern in a meeting with Gryschenko on Friday. He called a Ukrainian request to increase tariff levels beyond World Trade Organization commitments unprecedented.

Gryshchenko said the criticism does not reflect broad cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.

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