The vow comes as Western-oriented opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko and his pro-Russian rival, Viktor Yanukovich, campaigned for the final day ahead of an election rerun that was ordered after the fraudulent November 21 poll.

The candidate who was backed by Russia throughout his campaigning, current Prime Minister Yanukovich, has accused western Europe and the United States of de facto financing of his opponent through aid to a network of pro-democracy organizations in Ukraine.

European governments, the United States and Mr Yushchenko have rejected the accusations, but Russian President Putin has also taken up the charge, accusing the West of double standards and fomenting “permanent revolutions” in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Mr Yushchenko shrugged off Putin’s remarks, telling reporters at a news conference that “Ukraine has reached a point when its president is elected in Ukraine,” but also warned that possibilities for disruption of the process were still quite real.
Mr Putin, who twice sent victory congratulations to Mr Yanukovich in the previous vote before its results were annulled, promised on Friday that Russia would play no tricks in Ukraine.

“We will not resort to any behind-the-scenes methods to defend our national interests,” Mr Putin told a session of the Russian State Council.

More than 12,000 foreign observers have been registered to monitor Sunday’s vote, and Mr Yushchenko is widely expected to win it, with recent polls giving him a lead of more than 10 percent.

Police are hoping that Sunday’s election is carried out peacefully, but the acting Ukrainian interior minister says that in any unruly mass action, organizers must know that they bear responsibility for possible rights violations while measures are taken to maintain order.