World Bulletin / News Desk
Ukraine has tasked interim President Olexander Turchynov today with forming a new government following the ousting of former president Viktor Yanukovych, who is still on the run and wanted for mass murder.
The formation of the government has been delayed until Thursday to allow consultations to continue.
"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. The vote had been expected to take place during Tuesday's session.
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, an avid critic of the toppled government who was freed from prison on Saturday, has ruled out taking her old job, but may still run to be the next president.
Regional state head Mykhaylo Dobkin from the eastern city of Kharkiv, where former president Yanukovych enjoyed a strong pro-Russia support base, told Kanal 5 TV that he was also planning to run for presidency.
Some members of parliament have warned that Ukraine could be split because of concerns about Yanukovich's ouster in Russian-speaking regions in the east and south of the country.
Although the whereabouts of former president Yanukovych are not known, a sighting of him was reported in the mainly Russian-speaking autonomous Crimean peninsula.
Thousands of protesters remain in the Kiev Maidan, where at least 85 people were killed during violent demonstrations over the weekend.
"Sparatism" in Crimea
Ukraine's acting president discussed the situation in the mainly Russian-speaking Crimea on Tuesday and expressed concern about "signs of separatism" and threats to the country's territorial integrity.
Protesters on the southern peninsula have staged rallies against Ukraine's new leaders since President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted and a Russian-speaking mayor has been appointed in Sevastopol, where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based.
Acting President Oleksander Turchinov said anyone who is held responsible for separatist moves should be punished, his press service said in a written statement.
A struggle for power
Russia on Monday questioned the legitimacy of the interim government, but at the same time ruled out an intervention.
Nonetheless, although the fall of Yanukovich has cast doubt on a $15 billion bailout for Ukraine from Moscow, Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev said on Monday that Russia remains committed to fulfill its pledge to Ukraine with the next $2 billion bailout installment once a new government is elected.
"Our position is, we are going to continue with that. But we would like to know, who are our partners?" Ulyukayev said during an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington.
Meanwhile, the EU also said it is ready to provide a €20 billion financial aid package to Ukraine after the new cabinet was formed in the country, said European Parliament Foreign Relations Commission Chairman Elmar Brok on Monday.
Brok also stated that he came into contact with Germany's Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier and agreed on supporting the new cabinet in Ukraine.
The United States also said on Monday it was ready to provide financial assistance to Ukraine to complement a loan program from the International Monetary Fund.
International financial diplomats told Reuters that one option under review to help prop up Ukraine's ailing economy was a bailout that would include IMF money as well as bilateral loans and guarantees from governments.
Ukraine is bankrupt, budget looted
Arseny Yatsenyuk, head of the opposition Batkivschyna Party, announced Monday that the state budget of Ukraine had been emptied, bringing the political crisis-racked country to the verge of bankruptcy.
"The state budget has been plundered and the country has been reduced to bankruptcy, according to the latest information I received yesterday from the National Bank of Ukraine," he said during a Conciliatory Council meeting held in the Verkhovna Rada - Ukraine’s parliament.
"Ukraine has never faced such a terrible financial catastrophe in all of its years of independence," he said, warning that the country must immediately apply to the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance.
He said he was given a "frightening" picture of the country’s financial situation after meeting with the interim finance minister.
Yatsenyuk noted that Ukraine was 10 days late in paying its public officials as the treasury has run out of cash.
"We have no time. We must urgently form a government," noted Yatsenyuk. "Everything depends on how quickly we form a government that will be trusted by the people," he said.
Yatsenyuk said he also discussed the issues with the head of the US Treasury.
The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed Monday his concern about Ukraine's finances and announced that he is planning to visit Ukraine's capital Kiev.
Speaking at the House of Commons, Hague said Ukraine's financial situation is very "serious" and may require outside assistance to be managed.
"An economic crisis in the Ukraine will be a grave threat to the country's stability and have damaging wider consequences," said Hague.
"Ukraine now has a pressing need for constitutional reform, improvements to its political culture, free elections, an end to pervasive corruption, and the building of a stable political structure."
Hague said he discussed the issue of supporting Ukraine's new government financially and in preventing further violence with Germany, Poland and Russia's foreign ministers.
He added that he will be travelling to Washington D.C. on Monday to discuss financial support with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
"Such support could be provided quickly once requested by the new government. It requires a stable and legitimate government to be in place and a commitment to the reforms necessary to produce economic stability," said Hague. "International financial support cannot be provided without conditions and clarity that it will be put to proper use."
Ukrainian protesters to become police officers
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said on Monday that it would recruit some of the protesters who clashed with the security forces during the anti-government protests.
Members of opposition groups, including the right-wing Pravyi Sektor, which fought back against the police at the Independence Square in the capital, Kiev, will be recruited by the Interior Ministry as police officers, said Arsen Avakhov, the country's acting interior minister.
Avakhov also said the recruited protesters would decide strategies with the police from now on.
Pravyi Sektor joined the protesters to "defend the Independence Square" during the clashes. The group embodied other groups to fight back against the security forces.Last Mod: 25 Şubat 2014, 17:18