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Ukraine: Russia opposes presidential elections

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Ukraine should not hold presidential elections in May because it will violate an agreement reached between deposed President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition groups last week.

That agreement was rendered largely irrelevant on Saturday, when the opposition took power after Yanukovych fled the capital Kiev, but Lavrov insisted that at least parts of it should be honoured.

The deal, according to him, says that presidential elections should be held after constitutional reform and also gave lawmakers time for amendments until September.

“Now we hear that elections should be held on May 25. That is already a circumvention of the agreement,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

The Russian minister added protesters also ignored the agreement’s stipulation that they vacate occupied buildings in central Kiev.

“On the contrary, they now even fulfill law enforcement duties,” he said.

The Ukrainian parliament has decreed May 25 for presidential elections.

On Tuesday, the parliamentary Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov said that lawmakers would form a new government by Thursday.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is to meet US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington later Tuesday for talks on offering emergency financial aid to Ukraine to prevent the country’s bankruptcy.

Ukraine’s acting Finance Minister, Yuriy Kolobov, said on Monday that the country needs $35 billion for the next two years, in order to avoid financial catastrophe, and urged that an international donor’s conference be held in the coming weeks.

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