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KIEV, January 26, 2:41 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s opposition leaders, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Vitaly Klichko, have not given direct answers to an offer by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich to occupy the posts of prime minister and deputy prime minister in the Ukrainian government.
In his speech at Kiev’s Independence Square late on Saturday, Yatsenyuk, the leader of the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party in Ukrainian parliament, told about the president’s offer to become the prime minister but did not say anything about whether he would take it. The only words he said were “we are not afraid of responsibility”.
“We are ready to take Ukraine to the European Union,” Yatsenyuk said, adding that parliament should annul a package of laws adopted on January 16 first. On January 19, Yatsenyuk announced that the Ukrainian parliament lost its legitimacy after a majority of deputies had passed bills on prosecution for slander and extremism on January 16. Other measures included stricter punishment for organization of mass riots as well as the blocking and seizure of buildings. The new laws also introduced punishment for negation of crimes committed by fascists and prosecution for the destruction of monuments to Soviet soldiers as well as additional measures to protect judges.
For his part, Oleg Tyagnibok, the leader of the Svoboda (Freedom) party, said that the opposition did not recognize and would not implement the bills which had been adopted by parliament on January 16 and which were signed by the Ukrainian president and was going to sabotage them.
However, Ukraine’s Justice Minister Yelena Lukash assumes that the January 16 laws are in line with European legislations. “We believe that our laws fully harmonize with European laws and their analogues can be found practically in all European countries,” Lukash said at a briefing.
Vitaly Klichko, the UDAR party leader, did not say anything about Yanukovich to occupy the post of deputy prime minister. Instead, he said that the opposition insisted on holding early presidential elections already this year. However, it will continue negotiations with Yanukovich to settle the political crisis in the country.