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Ukraine’s opposition appeals aid to West

Agence France-Presse . Kiev

Anti-government protesters hold a rally in central Kiev, on Sunday. — Reuters photoAnti-government protesters hold a rally in central Kiev, on Sunday. — Reuters photo

Ukraine’s opposition on Sunday called for international mediation and appealed for Western financial aid for the first time in their protests against the president, Viktor Yanukovych.
As tens of thousands of people rallied in Kiev, boxer-turned-politician Vitali Klitschko told the crowd he had requested ‘international mediation in our negotiations with Yanukovych so there are no misunderstandings’.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former foreign minister, said: ‘We spoke to our Western partners and told them that we need real financial aid.
‘They are ready to do it. By ‘we’, I mean the Ukrainian people. Not a single kopeck should go to the Yanukovych regime,’ he said.
Klitschko and Yatsenyuk both attended the Munich Security Conference on Saturday where Europe and the United States sparred over Ukraine with Russia, which has condemned Western pledges of support as interference.
Ukraine is struggling to break free of a painful recession and Russia has put on hold until a new government is formed a $15-billion bailout package that has been propping up the economy.
Yanukovych’s office meanwhile said the president would be returning to work on Monday after a few days of sick leave due to ‘an acute respiratory infection’.
At the sprawling protest camp in Kiev that has been the epicentre for two months of protests that have spread across Ukraine, more than 60,000 people shouted their defiance against his rule on Sunday.




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