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Russia slams opposition in Ukraine for ‘inflaming’ crisis

Russia has slammed Ukraine’s opposition for “inflaming” the crisis in the country with incitement from Western nations, even as opposition leaders press for a constitutional reform.

“Russia is very much concerned over the attempts of opposition forces in Ukraine to further inflame the situation in the country,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said noting opposition calls to set up self-defence to patrol streets and stage protests at government offices in the provinces.

“It is puzzling that these provocative actions come immediately after the opposition leaders interacted with Western officials in Munich,” said a statement posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website on Monday.

“We expect the opposition in Ukraine to renounce threats and ultimatums and re-energise its dialogue with the authorities with a view to taking the country out of the deep crisis within the framework of the Constitution,” the Russian statement said.

Ukraine’s opposition leaders had meetings with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other Western leaders on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich over the weekend to discuss a plan to end the acute political crisis in the former Soviet state. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in an interview on Sunday that the E.U. and the U.S. are working on a plan to give short-term financial aid to Ukraine that “won’t be small” and will be contingent on the new Ukrainian government undertaking political and economic reforms.

A high powered Western delegation is to visit Ukraine next week to push forward with the plan. The delegation will comprise E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and a number of European Foreign Ministers.

Addressing a protest rally in Kiev after his return from Munich opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said the crisis in Ukraine will only end through new elections to oust President Viktor Yanukovych “under the auspices of the international community”.

Speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament Volodymyr Rybak said Mr. Yanukovych, who returned to work on Monday after a short respiratory illness, planned to continue talks with the opposition.

The opposition said it had tabled draft changes in the Ukrainian Constitution to redistribute powers from the President to the Parliament. Opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Monday said the change would “cancel the dictatorial powers of the president and transfer the right of governing the country to the Ukrainian people”.

The constitutional reform would open the way to holding presidential elections this year, instead of 2015.


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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 5:17:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/russia-slams-opposition-in-ukraine-for-inflaming-crisis/article5649612.ece

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