Russia Doubts 'Legitimacy' of New Ukrainian Government

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Russia doubts the new Ukraine government and said he did not see any legitimate authority figures to talk to. Parliament passed a resolution on Saturday that ousted Viktor Yanukovich from the presidency and set new elections for May 25.

"Strictly speaking, today there is no one to talk to there. The legitimacy of a whole host of government bodies is raising huge doubts," Medvedev said in Sochi, responding to a question posed by Interfax.

"If people crossing Kyiv in black masks and Kalashnikov rifles are considered a government, it will be difficult for us to work with such a government," the Russian prime minister said.

"If a normal modern power emerges (in Ukraine) based on Ukrainian law and on the constitution, we shall be ready to resume this sort of a relationship," the Russian head of government said.

I doubt the legitimacy of the Ukrainian authorities, but that is my personal opinion, the prime minister said. "Some of our foreign, Western partners think otherwise, considering them to be legitimate authorities," Medvedev said.

"I do not know which constitution, which laws they were reading, but it seems to me it is an aberration of perception when something that is essentially the result of a mutiny is called legitimate," Medvedev said. 

Protesters have been in Independence Square since late November when Yanukovich rejected a trade deal with the European Union for a $15 billion bailout from Russia. Yanukovich was backed by Russia, and many in western Ukraine viewed him as a puppet for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The new government released an arrest warrant for Yanukovich, who was last seen in pro-Russia Crimea, for the mass murders during the three month protests.


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