A recording of a phone conversation between EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet on Ukraine has been leaked online.
In the recording, Urmas Paet told Baroness Catherine Ashton that there was an “increasing understanding” in Ukraine that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych’s government was not responsible for the deaths of police and protesters during clashes last month in Kiev.
Urmas Paet said some Ukrainians believed elements from within the new regime in Kiev had employed snipers.
He said Ukrainian doctor Olga Bogomolets had told him that victims from both sides were shot by snipers using the same weapons.
However, Dr. Olga Bogomolets told the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that she had never had access to victims from the government side and was unable to comment on how they had been killed.
The phone conversation between EU’s Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet on Ukraine has been leaked online
Urmas Paet confirmed that the conversation with Baroness Ashton had taken place on February 26.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Urmas Paet called for an inquiry into the deaths in Kiev, but warned against using his comments to discredit the new government.
“I call for journalists to treat this recording very carefully. I was talking about the theories there were about what happened in Ukraine,” he said.
Viktor Yanukovych fled Ukraine shortly after the bloodshed and is now in Russia.
Moscow has since flooded the Crimea region with military personnel, claiming that Viktor Yanukovych had asked for their help.
However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier insisted Moscow had no power to remove what it calls “self-defense forces” currently guarding key sites in Crimea, explaining that they were not Russian troops.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) says it has sent 35 unarmed military monitors to Ukraine in response to a request from Kiev.
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Ukraine’s interim cabinet has been presented at Kiev’s main protest camp, the Maidan.
The Maidan council named Arseniy Yatsenyuk to become prime minister.
Ukraine’s new government – to be voted on by parliament on Thursday – includes leading activists.
Daunting challenges lie ahead, including fixing Ukraine’s struggling economy which faces default.
Meanwhile, ousted President Viktor Yanukovych has been put on the international wanted list.
Viktor Yanukovych is accused of being behind last week’s deaths of more than 100 protesters at the hands of riot police in and around the Maidan.
The Maidan council named Arseniy Yatsenyuk to become prime minister
The Maidan council – made up of protester groups and activists – announced its nominations at a big gathering of protesters at the camp, which is spread over Kiev’s Independence Square.
The council proposed Fatherland Party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk to lead the cabinet until after early presidential elections on May 25.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk – a former speaker of parliament and foreign minister – has been one of the main opposition leaders during the protests which first erupted in late November.
It was agreed that acting Defense Minister Arsen Avakov would keep his post. Other nominations include:
- The key foreign affairs ministry portfolio goes to Andriy Deshchytsia, who played a key role in rallying diplomats in support of the protests
- Overall Maidan commander Andriy Parubiy – who commands huge respect among the protesters – was named candidate for secretary of the National Security and Defence Council
- Tetyana Chornovol and Dmytro Bulatov – prominent activists who were badly beaten by unknown attackers earlier this year – are set to head the anti-corruption bureau and the ministry of youth and sports respectively. [youtube hW031-_eJSM 650]