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Ukraine's interim leadership pledges to put country back on course for European integration
World | politics | 12:24, 24 February 2014 | 653

AKIPRESS.COM - Kiev Ukraine's interim leadership pledged to put the country back on course for European integration now that Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovich has been ousted from the presidency, while the United States warned Russia against sending in its forces, reported Reuters.

As rival neighbors east and west of the former Soviet republic said a power vacuum in Kiev must not lead to the country breaking apart, acting President Oleksander Turchinov said late on Sunday that Ukraine's new leaders wanted relations with Russia on a "new, equal and good-neighborly footing that recognizes and takes into account Ukraine's European choice".

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton will travel to Ukraine on Monday, where she is expected to discuss measures to shore up the ailing economy.

Russia said late on Sunday it had recalled its ambassador in Ukraine for consultations on the "deteriorating situation" in Kiev.

A day after Yanukovich fled to the Russian-speaking east following dozens of deaths during street protests aimed at toppling him, parliament named its new speaker, Turchinov, as interim head of state. An ally of the ousted leader's jailed rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, he aims to swear in a government by Tuesday that can provide authority until a presidential election on May 25.

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