Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine's newly-elected president, urged the country's governing coalition to push a new law that would prevent the country from joining any military alliances, according to reports in the national press.

''This is the law which we need the most,'' Yanukovich told Ukraine Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko.

The ruling coalition's foreign relations principles are based on remaining ''out-of-blocks',' according to its programme published by the parliament daily, Golos Ukraiyni. The country's existing partnership cooperation with NATO would be pursued, the text adds.

Yanukovich's predecessor, Viktor Yushchenko, had passed legislation enshrining the country's NATO accession as a strategic goal, the website Ukraine explained, adding that the new president is not against European integration, but is ''categorically against Ukraine's accession to NATO''.

The daily Ekonomichekie Izvestiya quotes Ukrainian diplomat Vladimir Vasilenko as describing the decision by the country's new rulers as ''irresponsible',' as it would ''reverse Ukraine's civilisation orientation'' and would impact negatively on the country's EU integration too.

Other commentators, however, said Ukraine had no realistic chance of joining the alliance and that the new decision better suited the country's interests.

The coalition's programme also deals with Russian relations, saying that they should be built on a long-term and stable basis, in an atmosphere of confidence and ''strategic partnership''.

As for relations with the US, the political programme states that an existing Charter of Strategic Partnership between the two countries should be implemented and that bilateral relations should be governed by the principles of efficiency and mutual interest.