Russia holding economic leverage over Ukraine

Loan Consortium

Acting Finance Minister Yuriy Kolobov proposed calling an international conference of donors with the EU, the U.S. and others. The EU wants Russia to join a consortium of lenders, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said today.

As well as securing aid, politicians in Kiev are want to determine Yanukovych’s whereabouts to arrest him on murder charges. Lawmakers today asked the International criminal court in the Hague to punish officials for crimes against humanity after more than 80 protesters and police officers died in riots.

Andriy Klyuyev, a former aide to Yanukovych, has been hospitalized with a gunshot wound, his spokesman Artem Petrenko said by phone. Klyuyev is probably in Kiev, according to Petrenko, who said the injury isn’t life-threatening.

Events in Kiev are unsettling residents in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east and south. In the city of Simferopol in Crimea, crowds gathered outside the regional parliament demanding its speaker denounce the new authorities in the capital and weigh a referendum on possible adhesion to Russia.

Meddling Claims

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday that he has questions about the legitimacy of many Ukrainian state institutions and warned that his country’s interests are under threat. Russia’s Foreign Ministry says Yanukovych’s opponents broke a Feb. 21 peace deal and threaten the nation’s stability.

Russia, which maintains a naval base in Crimea, vowed not to meddle in Ukraine’s affairs and urged the West to follow suit. Concern in Russia that the EU is prying in Ukraine’s sovereign affairs is wide of the mark, according to Catherine Ashton, the the 28-member bloc’s foreign-policy chief.

“We offer support, not interference,” she said today in Kiev. “It’s very simple -- we want to support and help this country to be strong.”

 
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