A top Ukrainian official denied allegations that exiled Russian magnate Boris Berezovsky financed the presidential election campaign last year of Viktor Yushchenko, brought to power after "Orange Revolution" protests.

Oleg Rybachuk, Yushchenko's chief of staff, was among several of the president's allies denying any suggestion that Berezovsky, now an avowed foe of the Kremlin, had channelled funds to the president's campaign.

"Neither Viktor Yushchenko nor Oleh Rybachuk knows or has ever known Berezovsky," Rybachuk told Fifth Channel television. "Yushchenko has never even spoken to Mr Berezovsky."

Other officials denounced the allegations as an attempt to denigrate Yushchenko, who sacked Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her cabinet after months of government infighting.

Impeachment procedures in Ukraine's parliament are complex, making it extremely difficult to remove the president.

Several attempts to remove Yushchenko's predecessor, Leonid Kuchma on allegations of complicity in the murder of an investigative journalist proved unsuccessful.


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