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Int'l aid for Ukraine pledged while deposed president wanted

English.news.cn   2014-02-27 11:51:41

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Western countries pledged on Wednesday political and financial support for the Ukrainian interim government, while ousted President Viktor Yanukovych has been put on the international wanted list.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said his country was considering to provide an international economic assistance package for Kiev, including 1 billion U.S. dollars in loan guarantees and other direct aid.

The NATO also voiced support, as defense ministers of member states said in Brussels that the military alliance stood ready to assist Kiev with defense reform and military cooperation.

Poland expressed the wish to help Ukraine out of the current economic plight. Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Warsaw was ready to help Ukraine with its reforms, adding Kiev needs to "get gas prices to market levels, have realistic exchange rates and start the fight against corruption."

Slovenia offered medical treatment to Ukrainians wounded in the anti-government protests, said Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec.

Meanwhile, political wrestling between the West and Russia is underway.

Moscow has vowed not to interfere in Ukraine's domestic affairs and called on Western countries to follow suit.

"We confirm our principal position of non-involvement in Ukrainian internal affairs and expect everyone to follow a similar logic," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered earlier Wednesday the fleets and air forces to conduct snap drills in western and central military districts until March 3.

To make it more clear, Russian Defence Minister Shoigu said his country was undertaking measures to secure the safety of its military facilities in Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula, where Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed.

On Wednesday, Kerry denied that the United States was meddling in Ukraine's internal politics.

"We're not putting pressure on them. We're not urging something that they haven't themselves expressed as a desire," the top U.S. diplomat said in an interview with MSNBC television.

Kerry also dismissed the idea that Washington is looking for a confrontation with Moscow.

"What we need now is not to get into an old Cold War confrontation. We need to work together in what does not have to be a zero-sum game to provide the capacity of the people of Ukraine to choose their future. That's all that's at stake," he said.

In Ukraine, acting Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnytsky said Wednesday that his country has put Yanukovych and former Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko, who may still reside in Ukraine, on the international wanted list.

"Yanukovych is declared internationally wanted, we set a special group to enter this case," Makhnytsky told a news briefing.

Earlier that day, the General Prosecutor's Office said Yanukovych, Zakharchenko and their close allies were being investigated on suspicion of wilful murdering during the anti-government rallies, which left more than 80 people dead.

The new government also decided to disband the 4,000-strong Berkut special police force over alleged violence against protesters in the unrest, interim Interior Minister Arsen Avakovearly said on Wednesday.

Protesters have blamed Berkut officers for dispersing peaceful rallies with stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannons.

Rallies began in November last year after Yanukovych shelved a trade and economic agreement with the EU and turned instead to Russia for financial aid. The standoff heightened on Feb. 18, which led to the death of more than 80 people. Yanukovych signed a deal with the opposition leaders on Feb. 21 to end the bloody standoff.

On Feb. 23, the parliament dismissed Yanukovych and his whereabouts remained unclear so far.

Chaos in Ukraine has caused wide worries inside the country. Three former leaders, namely Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko, warned Wednesday that the country is facing social and political challenges.

Editor: Yamei Wang
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