Former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday called on the new government to grant a political amnesty to its opponents, warning of a split that has deepened since last year's bitterly contested election.
Yanukovych, who lost the vote to Viktor Yushchenko, remains the main figurehead of the opposition, which has repeatedly accused the Yushchenko government of political persecution.
"The president, who wants to unite the country, today still has a way out: announce political amnesty," Yanukovych was quoted as saying by the private Fifth TV.
Yushchenko has pledged to hold the former government accountable for its alleged corruption and links to organized crime.
The General Staff noted that the document appeared at a time when Russia was trying to deter the arms race unleashed by the United States