Kiev tells U.S. to stay out of its affairs

Feb. 18, 2014 at 10:10 AM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- The United States and its allies are called on to stop meddling in Ukraine's political affairs, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Yevhen Perebyinis, director of information for the Foreign Ministry, was quoted by the National News Agency of Ukraine as saying all "international partners of Ukraine, including the United States, [are called on] to refrain from attempts to influence the composition and formation of a new government in Ukraine."

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday the "next step" for Ukraine should be the formation of a new Ukrainian government that "can earn the confidence of the Ukrainian people and restore political and economic stability to Ukraine."

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reports "thousands" of demonstrators marched on the Ukrainian capital Tuesday. At least three protesters were killed and several others injured, CNN reported, along with seven police officers. Activists had been occupying the building housing the Interior Ministry, RIA Novosti said.

Protests broke out in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, in November when the government decided to back away from the European Union to protect its economic ties to Russia.

Pro-EU demonstrators have called on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to step down. His prime minister, Mykola Azarov, resigned in January in a move to ease political tensions.

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