Home Breaking News Ukraine: Russian ambassador recalled as Kiev focuses on closer integration with EU

Ukraine: Russian ambassador recalled as Kiev focuses on closer integration with EU


Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov has been recalled over what it described as the deteriorating situation in the country.

Moscow has condemned the removal of President Viktor Yanukovych, who was dismissed by parliament on Saturday.

Ukraine’s newly appointed interim president, Olexander Turchynov, says the country will now focus on closer integration with the EU.

Viktor Yanukovych’s rejection of an EU trade deal in favor of closer ties with Russia had triggered the unrest.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is due to arrive in Kiev on Monday to discuss EU support “for a lasting solution to the political crisis and measures to stabilize the economic situation”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the US strongly supports the Ukrainian parliament’s vote to impeach Viktor Yanukovych and call elections, the central demand of months of protests.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Ukraine’s opposition “had in effect seized power in Kiev, refused to disarm and continued to place its bets on violence”.

Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov has been recalled over what it described as the deteriorating situation in the country

Russian ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov has been recalled over what it described as the deteriorating situation in the country

He accused them of deviating from a political deal they signed with Viktor Yanukovych on Friday, which aimed to end the protests after a week in which dozens of people were killed.

Moscow recently agreed to provide $15 billion (11 billion euros) to support Ukraine’s struggling economy, a move seen as a reward for Viktor Yanukovych’s controversial decision last year not to sign a long-planned trade deal with the EU.

But there are now fears Moscow could withdraw that offer.

A US official said US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had discussed Ukraine with Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Sydney on Sunday.

Anton Siluanov reportedly left open the question of whether Russia would pay the next installment of financial help for Ukraine, worth $2 billion.

British Chancellor George Osborne said early on Monday that the UK was ready to provide financial support to Ukraine through international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Lawmakers from Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions now appear to be disowning him, having issued a statement criticizing him to Interfax-Ukraine.

In other decisions on Sunday:

  • Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara and Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnyk were dismissed
  • Arrest warrants were issued for former Incomes Minister Oleksandr Klimenko and former Prosecutor-General Viktor Pshonka
  • Parliament lowered the official status of the Russian language by cancelling a law brought in by Viktor Yanukovych
  • Parliament also voted to seize Viktor Yanukovych’s luxury estate near Kiev, which protesters entered on Saturday [youtube inQUUTiSnLU 650]
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