March 3, 2014 (TSR) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Ukraine‘s deposed President Viktor Yanukovych is still the legitimate head of the country and Moscow does not recognize the new leaders.
Medvedev posted the comments on his Facebook page on Monday. He added that while the authority of President Yanukovych is practically negligible, he is still the legitimate leader of Ukraine according to the country’s constitution.
The Russian prime minister also said that Moscow does not recognize Ukraine’s interim leaders, as they violated the country’s constitution when they took power. He said those new leaders won’t last long.
“Ukraine is not for us the group of people who shed blood… and took power in violation of the constitution and other laws of their state,” said Medvedev.
The prime minister continued by saying that if Yanukovych was guilty of crimes, an impeachment process should have been launched against him in Ukraine and “everything else is just arbitrary. A seizure of power.”
Ukraine has been gripped by unrest since November 2013, when ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
On February 23, amid rising violence in Ukraine, the parliament ousted Yanukovych and named Oleksandr Turchynov, the legislature’s speaker, as interim president.
Russia has given sanctuary to Yanukovych.