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Protest leader Yatsenyuk says Maidan demonstrators should be in new government

EU official urged the Ukrainian parliament to form a broad-based government that will carry out reforms and guarantee territorial integrity and unity of society
Arseniy Yatsenyuk EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO
Arseniy Yatsenyuk

KIEV, February 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Protesters who demonstrated in Kiev’s Independence Square, known as Maidan, should be invited to a coalition government and get ministerial positions in it, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, head of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party’s faction in the national parliament, said on Monday, February 24.

“Each ministry should create a position at the level of deputy minister for fighting corruption,” Yatsenyuk said.

Elmar Brok, chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, urged the Ukrainian parliament to form a broad-based government that will carry out reforms and guarantee territorial integrity and unity of society.

He also offered support to judicial inquiries with regard to people responsible for violations of human rights and killings, provided such investigation is conducted in accordance with law.

Brok urged Russia to show responsibility with regard to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and stability.

Russia does not question the fact that Crimea is a part of Ukraine but understands the Crimean people’s feelings, Valentina Matviyenko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, upper house of Russian parliament, said on Monday.

“Russia is not undertaking any incendiary actions, let alone at the state level. To us it is a fact that Crimea is a part of Ukraine,” she said. “But it is also a fact that we can see the people in Crimea have not been consulted on the decisions being adopted in Kiev. We can understand the feelings of people in Crimea.”

Matviyenko noted that Russia was not indifferent to the processes unfolding in Crimea. “Many people in Crimea have Russian roots or are citizens of Russia. Our Black Sea Fleet is stationed there,” she said.

Matviyenko said she had recently met with Crimean Parliament Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov, who reiterated his intention to defend the peninsula’s autonomy. “He stressed that if the Ukrainian Constitution is amended, Crimea will demand greater autonomy because more than 60% of Crimea's population are Russians and it is not all the same to them how the questions of school and university education, development, language and culture are solved,” Matviyenko said.

The Ukrainian parliament’s special commissioners overseeing the country’s Interior Ministry and Security Service, Arsen Avakov and Valentin Nalivaichenko, paid “a very brief visit” to Simferopol, the capital of the Crimean autonomy, local mass media said.

“The country is returning back to the track of peace dialogue. It is very important not to provoke anybody. In a situation like this it is essential to avoid the kind of confrontation that occurred in Kiev, I believe that we shall be able to restore order through dialogue,” Avakov said.

It was the first visit by the newly-appointed chiefs of Ukraine’s security and law enforcement agencies to a Ukrainian region. The Crimean autonomy was chosen after a rally in Sevastopol on Sunday, February 23, had spontaneously elected a new mayor and demanded the autonomy’s re-unification with Russia.