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Ukraine sure to join EU soon: Yulia Tymoshenko

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Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko greets supporters from a car as she leaves her prison hospital in Kharkiv on February 22, 2014.

Ukraine’s opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko says she is sure the country will join the European Union (EU) in the near future.

Tymoshenko made the comment on Saturday minutes after she was released from the hospital where she had been held under prison guard in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

The opposition icon also said she would stand for president in May.

Tymoshenko then went to Kiev to join her supporters who were mourning their dead at Independence Square, known as the Maidan.

Meanwhile, Oleksandr Turchynov, the newly elected parliament speaker, said ousted President Viktor Yanukovych tried to board a plane to Russia, but was prevented from doing so and is now in the eastern city of Donetsk.

According to reports, Kharkiv’s regional governor along with the city’s mayor, both of them top allies of Yanukovych, left Ukraine across the nearby Russian border.

Also on Saturday, the Russian foreign minister condemned the recent events in Ukraine, saying the opposition has failed to meet its commitments based on a deal with Yanukovych signed in Kiev on Friday.

Sergey Lavrov said “armed extremists and pogromists” whose actions threaten “Ukraine’s sovereignty and constitutional order” lead the Ukrainian opposition.

“The opposition has not only failed to fulfill any of its obligations, but is presenting new demands all the time, following the lead of armed extremists and pogromists who pose a direct threat to Ukraine’s sovereignty and constitutional order,” he said, adding, “It’s time to stop misleading international public opinion and pretending the Maidan represents the interests of the Ukrainian nation.”

He urged Germany, Poland and France to exert pressure on the opposition to respect the recently signed peace agreement with the government.

The German foreign minister, however, called for the formation of a new government before Yanukovych returns to Kiev.

Meanwhile, the British Foreign Secretary welcomed the release of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

William Hague said London would work with EU partners to back a new government in Ukraine.


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