Ukraine delays forming new government amid intense negotiations

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"The vote on the national unity government should be on Thursday," Oleksander Turchinov, the speaker of the assembly and the acting president, told the chamber. AFP
Ukraine\’s parliament put off plans to vote on the formation of a national unity government until Thursday to allow consultations to continue.
Ukraine\’s parliament speaker and acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, made the announcement on Tuesday, the day on which the legislature was due to unveil its new leaders.
Reports said the delay is meant to allow for further consultations on the issue.
On Monday, the interim government in Ukraine issued an arrest warrant for ousted president Yanukovych, accusing him and other officials of mass murder of anti-government protesters.
Acting interior minister Arsen Avakhov said Yanukovych was last seen in the pro-Russian Crimea region of Ukraine, but that the ousted leader\’s exact whereabouts are not clear.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday questioned the legitimacy of Ukraine\’s new authorities, saying they had come to power in what "in its essence is the result of an armed mutiny."
Russia\’s Foreign Ministry charged that "dictatorial and sometimes terrorist methods" are being used in various regions of Ukraine to pressure those who disagree with the change in government.
On Sunday, Russia recalled its ambassador to Kyiv for consultations on what it described as the "deteriorating situation in Ukraine." A Russian Foreign Ministry statement cited a need for "a comprehensive analysis" of developments in Kyiv.
Medvedev said Monday that the ambassador was recalled because "there is a threat to our interests, to the lives and health of our people" in Ukraine.
The United States and Britain have warned Russia not to send forces into Ukraine. U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Russian military intervention would be a "grave mistake."
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton traveled Monday to Kyiv, where she met with Ukraine\’s parliament speaker, who was made the country\’s acting president Sunday. Ashton also met with political party leaders, including Vitali Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Ashton\’s office said her trip to Kyiv would include discussing ways the EU can help the political and economic stabilization of Ukraine.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday the United States is ready to provide financial support to Ukraine, to complement aid from the International Monetary Fund and help the country invest more in health and education.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns will travel to Ukraine Tuesday. According to the State Department, he will meet with acting president Turchynov, as well as Yatsenyuk and members of parliament.
Burns "will urge the new government to take all steps necessary for free and fair presidential elections in May," the State Department said.
There is a split in Ukraine between those who want the country to favor relations with Europe and those who want closer ties with Russia. Ousted president Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the EU in November, setting off protests that led to him being kicked out of office.
Also Monday, the acting finance minister Yuri Kolobov said Ukraine will need $35 billion in foreign aid to cover its bills during the next two years. He called for an international donor conference and appealed for urgent aid, saying some of the money needs to come within two weeks.
Yanukovych fled Kyiv on Saturday to his support base in eastern Ukraine.
Opposition party leader Klitschko said Sunday the ousted leader should take full responsibility for the chaos in Kyiv that has resulted in the deaths of about 100 anti-government protesters in the past two weeks.
Yanukovych\’s party issued a statement blaming him for the surge of deadly violence that wracked the capital in recent weeks.
Ukrainian protesters took control of Yanukovych\’s offices in Kyiv on Saturday. Others let themselves onto the grounds of the president\’s lavish but secret estate outside Kyiv, which includes a private zoo, and they toured his house. Some say they are stunned that one person could have so much while others in Ukraine have nothing.
Source: VOA and agencies

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