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Department of State: The US authorities do not support specific politicians in Ukraine

January 30, 2014, 6:37 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
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WASHINGTON, January 30, (ITAR-TASS). The US administration would like Ukraine’s new government to take into account Ukrainians’ aspirations for a European future, Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the US Department of State, said.

In her comment on the recent resignation of the Ukrainian cabinet led by Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov, Psaki said the US authorities do not support specific politicians in Ukraine.

“It’s never been about one person. It’s been about all of these issues... important to move forward on as the government looks to what they should do next,” she told a daily press briefing.

“We have urged the Ukrainian Government and the opposition to ensure that the new government is one that fosters political unity, economic health supported by the IMF, and meets the Ukrainian people’s aspirations for a European future,” Psaki said.

“We are encouraged by the dialogue between the opposition and the government, and we continue to press for a new government that can strengthen democratic institutions and make the reforms necessary for economic prosperity,” the spokeswoman added.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov, who led Ukraine's cabinet of ministers since December 13, 2012, tendered his resignation Tuesday. President Viktor Yanukovich accepted it.

Anti-government protests hit Ukraine after Kiev refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union at a summit in Vilnius in late November, choosing the path of closer integration with Russia instead.

A second wave of demonstrations occurred in Ukraine after parliament passed a set of laws toughening punishment for public order violations on January 16. Protesters stormed and seized government buildings. At least three protesters are believed to have been killed in clashes with police. The Interior Ministry claims up to 200 policemen have been injured.

Commenting on the Ukrainian parliament’s decision Tuesday to repeal some of the laws that sparked the second wave of protests, Psaki said the US was “encouraged that Ukraine’s parliament repealed” the laws.

“Today we want to urge President Yanukovich to sign the repeal laws,” she said.

The State Department spokeswoman also said there had been three conversations between US Vice President Joe Biden and Yanukovich.

“He [Biden] expressed to President Yanukovich the importance of working with the opposition to take additional concrete steps to reach a peaceful solution to the political crisis, such as passing an amnesty law and creating a government of political unity,” Psaki said.

A bill on amnesty for participants of ongoing mass protests in Ukraine drafted by Yanukovich’s representative in parliament Yury Miroshnichenko was approved by the unicameral Verkhovna Rada late on Wednesday. It envisions a pardon for all people who took part in riots during mass anti-government demonstrations in Ukraine except for those who committed grave crimes. Protesters should vacate state institutions they seized within 15 days.

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