ROSTOV-ON-DON, February 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said on Friday that Russia should not remain uninvolved in the situation around Ukraine, but added that he is against any military intervention on Moscow’s part.
Speaking at a news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, Yanukovich was asked what steps Russia should take in the current crisis in Ukraine, which has seen Yanukovich, its legitimate president, ousted in a violent uprising that claimed over 80 lives.
“Russia cannot be indifferent and uninvolved toward the destiny of such a large partner and neighbor, Ukraine. Russia should use all capabilities it has to prevent the chaos and terror in Ukraine. It is hard for me to name specific recipes,” he said.
Yanukovich said he believes it would be “incorrect” on his part to “say what Russia should do.”
The fugitive Ukrainian leader, however, also warned against invading Ukraine.
“I am totally against an invasion of Ukraine, violation of its sovereignty,” he also said.
Following Yanukovich’s flight from his official residence outside Kiev, the Rada appointed an interim head of state and approved a new government. It also reinstated the 2004 Constitution that gave broader powers to the legislature and canceled the law on the fundamentals of the state language policy, which had given Russian the status of a regional language in 13 out of 27 Ukrainian regions, including Crimea.
Russians and Ukrainians constitute the majority of about 85 percent, and Crimean Tatars account for about 15 percent in Crimea. There are also many Russian speakers in eastern Ukrainian regions.
Participants of two rallies, one pro-Russian and the other apparently anti-Russian, briefly clashed on Wednesday in front of Crimea’s parliament.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament said in a resolution on Thursday that “the Ukrainian Parliament and the incoming government” should “respect the rights of minorities in the country and the use of Russian and other minority languages.