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Russian, Ukrainian PMs discuss cooperation by phone

November 27, 2014, 20:39 UTC+3
Medvedev and Yatsenyuk discussed issues of financial-economic cooperation between the two countries
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Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Arseniy Yatsenyuk

© Zurab Dzhavakhadze/TASS

MOSCOW, November 27. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday held a phone conversation with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Russian government press service reported Thursday.

“Medvedev and Yatsenyuk discussed issues of financial-economic cooperation between the two countries,” the statement said.

Earlier Thursday, Yatsenyuk was approved by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, on the post of the country’s premier. A total of 341 deputies voted for his candidacy, two were against with seven abstentions.

Earlier this year, Yatsenyuk was already appointed to the prime ministerial post. On February 27, the Rada supported his candidacy, but on July 24 he announced his resignation “in connection with the breakup of the parliamentary coalition, as well as non-adoption of a number of important draft laws.” But the parliament did not accept his resignation.

Crisis in Ukraine

Ukraine has been in deep crisis since the end of last year, when then-President Viktor Yanukovich suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union. The move triggered mass riots that eventually led to a coup in February 2014.

The coup that brought chaos to Ukraine prompted the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with a special status to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of coup-imposed authorities, hold a referendum and secede from Ukraine to reunify with Russia in mid-March after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.

After that, mass protests erupted in Ukraine’s south-east, where local residents, apparently inspired by Crimea's example, did not recognize the coup-imposed authorities either, formed militias and started fighting for their rights.

Kiev’s military operation designed to regain control over the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine’s south-east on the border with Russia, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics, has killed thousands of people, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

Businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko won the May 25 early presidential election in Ukraine. Poroshenko had funded anti-government protests that led to the February coup.

The parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

The West subjected Russia to sanctions, including visa bans, asset freezes and sectoral restrictions, following Crimea’s incorporation by Russia and the start of clashes in Ukraine’s south-east that the West and Kiev claimed Moscow was involved in despite Russia’s repeated denials.

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