Ukrainian President: Government Resignation Accepted

Following heavy protests in the streets of Kiev, the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov, has resigned form his position. “With the aim of creating extra means for finding a social-political compromise, for the sake of a peaceful settlement of the conflict, I took my personal decision to ask the President of Ukraine to accept my resignation from the Position of the Prime Minister of Ukraine,” said Azarov in a government released statement. While he spoke on his belief that the government, and he himself, had been taking the right political path in recent times, he said that the item of gravest importance is the preservation of “the unity and integrity of Ukraine. That is much more important than anybody’s personal plans and ambitions.”

Subsequent to Azarov’s announcement, the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, released a statement saying that he had accepted the Prime Minister’s resignation, and that, “The resignation of the Prime Minister of Ukraine results in the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Thus, the President has accepted the resignation of the Government as well.” He noted that as per the ruling of Ukraine’s legal code the present Minister and Cabinet will remain at their posts until replacements are found.

Opposition leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance (or, UDAR) Vitali Klitschko spoke Tuesday on the governments resignation, claiming that, “Events in Ukrainian streets are the results of Azarov’s Cabinet work,” according to a UDAR press release. He insisted that the Prime Minister’s decision to leave office was done “in order to protect himself.” He also emphasized that the anti-democratic legislation passed January 16 — which kicked off protests and international concern — is still in need of reform. “The faces in the government may change, but the system remains the same. People expect much more than the resignation of the government. We need to reload the governmental system first,” said Klitschko. He also dealt with missing, tortured, or injured protestors, speaking both to blame the government and to request thorough and open investigation into occurrences.

The European Union issued a statement to Ukraine echoing these concerns. “We express concern about the deteriorating Human Rights situation. Arrests of wounded people in front of clinics, several cases of disappearance and reported torture are extremely worrying and can be accepted under no circumstances,” the statement reads. It also called on the nation to remove the legislation passed January 16 in its entirety.

I and the EU will remain fully engaged in seeking a way out of the crisis. Following today’s visit by my colleague Stefan Fule I will travel to Kyiv tomorrow evening,” said High Representative of the EU, Catherine Ashton, on Wednesday.

On Monday, a statement from the Ukrainian Minister of Justice, Olena Lukash, opened the possibility that a state of emergency might be declared — a result of the protestors takeover of the Ministry building. The press service for the Ministry released an update Tuesday, not directly retracting it’s threat, but allowing for a more hopeful tone after the building was released. The statement first listed the many items of government that had been interrupted or prevented, but continued on to say that, “The Ministry of Justice considers that the release of the building of the Ministry on the Gorodetsky Street, 13, is a positive step that will further the dialogue and allow [it] to promptly [restore] the full functioning of the the Ministry.”

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