Opposition visit: medvedev criticizes westerwelle

Opposition visit: medvedev criticizes westerwelle

After three weeks of mass protests in ukraine, the pro-european opposition around world boxing champion vitali klitschko and the pro-russian leadership are at odds with each other. "President viktor yanukovich must finally respond to events in his country instead of wandering through museums in china", klitschko criticized on friday in kiev. The opposition again announced a rally in the capital this sunday with hundreds of thousands of people calling for the government to resign.

In moscow, russian head of government dmitry medvedev sharply criticized a meeting between acting german federal minister guido westerwelle and ukrainian demonstrators as "interference in internal affairs". The federal government rejected the accusation.

Government spokesman steffen seibert stressed in berlin that westerwelle had met with chancellor angela merkel after his visit to kiev had spoken. Both are "fully united in the conviction that hundreds of thousands of demonstrators there are a very strong signal of european sentiment" had given. The european union’s door to an association agreement remains open for kiev.

In the ex-soviet republic, tens of thousands have been demonstrating for weeks against the government, which had stopped the agreement under russian pressure. Detained opposition leader julia timoshenko called off her protest hunger strike against the leadership after twelve days.

Meanwhile, president yanukovych landed in the russian black sea city of sochi after a state visit to china. Among other things, he spoke with kremlin leader vladimir putin about possible discounts for russian gas supplies to his financially troubled country.

Details of the meeting were not disclosed. The russian agency interfax, citing unnamed sources in moscow, reported that russian investments totaling the equivalent of six billion euros were discussed at the meeting.

In kharkov, some 450 kilometers east of kiev, a court adjourned a controversial second criminal trial against tymoshenko for the 27th time. Times, because the sick ex-head of government did not appear. The politician faces twelve years in prison for tax evasion and embezzlement, in addition to the seven she has been serving since october 2011 for abuse of office. A paint attack on tymoshenko’s lawyer, who was splattered with green paint outside court, caused a stir. Two suspects arrested.

Pro-western opposition once again blocked the work of the parliament in kiev. Deputies of timoshenko’s fatherland party do not love parliamentary leader vladimir rybak to his place in the supreme rada. On the streets, protests against the country’s departure from the EU continued unabated.

The opposition continued to occupy several buildings in the capital, including the city hall. Demonstrators there had hoisted the european flag. The authorities gave the opponents of the government an ultimatum of five days to vacate the building. Otherwise they would face crackdown, kiev police chief warned. The council of europe announced a mediation mission in ukraine.

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