Richard's Feed
Nov 27, 2014

War veterans steal limelight in Ukraine’s new parliament

KIEV (Reuters) – War veterans and nationalist radicals brought a revolutionary air to the opening on Thursday of Ukraine’s new parliament convened to name a government to hold the country together and set out a program of far-reaching reform.

Hundreds of riot police guarded the building as the parliament quickly formed a five-party coalition of support for the pro-Western President Petro Poroshenko and later elected Arseny Yatseniuk for a new term as prime minister.

Nov 24, 2014

Ukraine leader, under pressure from West, pledges new government soon

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine will take the first steps this week towards forming a new government, President Petro Poroshenko said on Monday, seeking to assuage concern among his Western allies that the delay is holding up reform and imperiling Western assistance.

The U.S. and other Western governments are criticizing Kiev’s tardiness in putting together a government following October elections – with suspicions that the delay is due to rivalry between Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk over control of key portfolios.

Nov 20, 2014

Russia warns U.S. against arms to Ukraine as Biden due in Kiev

MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) – Russia warned the United States on Thursday against supplying arms to Ukrainian forces fighting pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, hours before U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden was due to arrive in Kiev.

Ukraine accused President Vladimir Putin of treating its territory like a “playing field”, trying to unleash a full-scale war that would pose a broader threat to NATO countries.

Nov 7, 2014

Ukraine’s ‘kamikaze’ PM relishes hawkish reputation

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s prime minister once said he and the emergency government which took power after pro-European protests in February were on a “suicide” mission, fated to take unpopular decisions that would cut short their political careers.

If that is so, it would seem Arseny Yatseniuk now has a permanent death wish.

Far from dodging the ‘kamikaze’ hot seat, the 40-year-old technocrat has used his party’s surprise first place in last month’s elections to outmaneuver rivals and get an assurance he will stay on as prime minister once horse-trading is completed.

Nov 5, 2014

Ukraine peace plan in tatters, ‘frozen conflict’ takes shape

KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Kiev said on Wednesday it would halt payment of state funds in areas controlled by pro-Moscow rebels, as both sides hardened positions in what is rapidly becoming a “frozen conflict”: a long-term stalemate that the West believes is Russia’s aim.

A day after the rebels held inauguration ceremonies for their leaders, the separatists and the central government each accused each other of violating a September peace deal and signaled they would withdraw support for some of its terms.

Nov 3, 2014

Ukraine crisis deepens after rebel vote in east

KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of his security chiefs for Tuesday to discuss new ways of dealing with the separatist challenge in the east after rebel elections that were denounced by Kiev and the West.

The rogue votes, which Kiev says Russia encouraged, could create a new “frozen conflict” in post-Soviet Europe and further threaten the territorial unity of Ukraine, which lost control of its Crimean peninsula in March when it was annexed by Russia.

Oct 31, 2014

Ukraine’s Poroshenko backs Yatseniuk for new term as prime minister

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko threw his support behind Arseny Yatseniuk for a new term as prime minister on Friday, ending speculation that he would seek to try to bring in his own candidate as head of a new pro-Europe, reformist government.

Ukraine won a vital breathing space by sealing an interim gas supply deal with Russia on Thursday that will see it through winter, but the new Kiev government faces a mountain of other problems, not least pro-Russian insurrection in eastern areas.

Oct 29, 2014

Ukraine’s Yatseniuk sees himself staying on as prime minister

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday he expected to stay on as prime minister at the head of a new pro-Europe, reformist government as his party hung on to a slight lead in last Sunday’s election with the vote count nearly complete.

Power-sharing talks have been going on behind the scenes in Ukraine after the poll gave a resounding win to parties committed to European integration, shifting the ex-Soviet republic further away from the Russian orbit despite rebellion by pro-Russian separatists in the east.

Oct 28, 2014

Ukraine denounces Russian stance on rebel vote in east Ukraine

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine on Tuesday condemned as “destructive and provocative” Russia’s stance towards elections organized by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine next Sunday, saying Moscow’s recognition of the vote could wreck chances of bringing peace.

The Nov. 2 vote would be being held in defiance of Ukrainian national elections last Sunday in which pro-Western parties, dedicated to holding the former Soviet republic together and negotiating a settlement to the conflict, triumphed.

Oct 28, 2014

U.S. and EU hail pro-West election outcome in Ukraine, Russia guarded

KIEV (Reuters) – Pro-Western parties will dominate Ukraine’s parliament after an election handed President Petro Poroshenko a mandate to end a separatist conflict and to steer the country further away from Russia’s orbit towards mainstream Europe.

U.S. President Barack Obama hailed Sunday’s election as “an important milestone in Ukraine’s democratic development” while top European Union officials said on Monday it represented a “victory of the people of Ukraine and of democracy”.