EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele are due to meet with Ukrainian officials in Kyiv on January 29 – a day after President Viktor Yanukovych accepted the resignation of the government and parliament overturned controversial antiprotest laws that it had passed on Jan. 16, reports RFE/RL.
Still, the visits of EU officials was criticized by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said in Brussels on January 28 that EU officials are exacerbating Ukraine’s crisis with political interference.
Putin also pledged that a change of Ukraine’s government will not alter Russia’s $15 billion loan and cheap natural gas deal with Ukraine.
Parliament’s decision on January 28 to overturn the antiprotest laws came after Prime Minister announced his resignation along with his cabinet. Azarov said he was resigning in order to peacefully resolve Ukraine’s crisis.
Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said Azarov's resignation was only "a step to victory." "I am confident that there was no other way out," Klitschko noted. I am certain that as the question of the government's responsibility was on the agenda at the parliament [on January 28], Azarov knew about it and did everything to save face."