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Ukraine PM Azarov submits resignation to ease tensions

Press TV – January 28, 2014

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has tendered his resignation in an attempt to help resolve a two-month political crisis in the country.

“I have taken a personal decision to ask the president of Ukraine to accept my resignation from the post of prime minister with the aim of creating an additional possibility for a political compromise to peacefully resolve the conflict,” he said.

World boxing champion and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said Azarov’s announced resignation was only “a step to victory”.

Moments ahead of the news, Ukraine’s parliamentarians began holding a special session over a controversial anti-protest law, which has sparked a wave of clashes between protesters and police forces over the past weeks.

In a televised statement, Justice Minister Olena Lukash said the lawmakers would discuss the government’s responsibility in the crisis, signaling that a cabinet reshuffle could be imminent.

Earlier on Monday, in a meeting between the government and the opposition, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the opposition agreed to scrap the anti-protest law.

Yanukovych also pledged an amnesty for detained demonstrators if the barricades set up by them on the streets are taken down.

In a bid to resolve the crisis, the Ukrainian president also offered to bring the opposition into the government. Leaders of the opposition, however, have rejected the offer.

Ukraine has been rocked by anti-government protests since Yanukovych refrained from signing the Association Agreement with the European Union at the third Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on November 29, 2013.

January 28, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Comments Off on Ukraine PM Azarov submits resignation to ease tensions

Ukrainian president intends to sign EU deal: Ashton

Press TV | December 12, 2013

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton says Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych “intends to sign” an agreement with the European Union to enhance economic and political relations with the bloc.

Ashton said on arrival for a meeting in Brussels on Thursday after her visit to Kiev that Yanukovych “made it clear to me that he intends to sign the association agreement.”

She added that the short-term economic and financial issues Ukraine faces could be “addressed by the support that not only comes from the EU institutions, but actually by showing that he has a serious economic plan in signing the association agreement.”

Ashton also said that the signature of the deal would help to bring in the kind of investment that the Ukrainian president is in need of.

The executive body of the European Union had said on December 9 that Ashton would travel to Ukraine on December 10 on a two-day visit, with a European Commission spokesperson noting that the visit aims to “support a way out of the political crisis in Ukraine.”

Last month, Kiev refused to sign the agreement with the bloc in a move that triggered major street protests by the opposition supporters, who want Ukraine to become closer to the EU and distance itself from Russia.

Clashes erupted several times between the anti-government protesters and police forces during the demonstrations. Several arrests were made in the course of the protests as well.

In an effort to calm the political unrest, President Yanukovych invited all parties, including the opposition, to engage in dialog. However, Ukrainian opposition leaders on Wednesday turned down his offer of negotiations, calling for dismissal of his government and release of the detained protesters.

On the same day, the US State Department said it is considering sanctions against Ukraine if security forces intensify the crackdown on anti-government protesters in the country.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko had vowed earlier that police would not act against peaceful protesters.

December 12, 2013 Posted by | Economics | , , , , | Comments Off on Ukrainian president intends to sign EU deal: Ashton