Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said that deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych had no political future but asserted he was legally still head of state.
“I think that he has no political future. And I told him this,” Putin said in comments broadcast on state television, adding that Russia had offered sanctuary to Yanukovych for humanitarian reasons.
He said earlier that Yanukovych was, however, still the “sole legitimate president of Ukraine”.
The Russian boss said that the West had helped to plunge Ukraine into anarchy: “Of course people wanted change,” Putin said. “But [people] cannot impose illegal change …you need to use only constitutional means.”
In his first public, political speech since Yanukovych’s ouster, he reminded the Ukrainian people that he believed the new leadership of the country was invalid.
He said that Ukraine’s interim leader, parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov was “not legitimate. From the legal perspective it is Mr Yanukovych who is president.
AFP contributed to this report