Keep out of Ukraine, Russia warned

Last updated 09:54 27/02/2014
Arseny Yatseniuk
Reuters
ARSENY YATSENIUK: The former economy minister is the protest movement's choice to lead the Ukraine gorvernment.

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As Ukraine's protest leaders named their choice to head a new government, the United States warned to Russia against military intervention.

Ukraine's protest leaders on Wednesday (local time) named former economy minister Arseny Yatseniuk as their choice to head a new government following the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovich.

The United States said it would be a "grave mistake" for Russia to embark on a military intervention in Ukraine and said Washington was considering US$1 billion in US loan guarantees for Kiev.

"For a country that has spoken out so frequently ... against foreign intervention in Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere, it would be important for them to heed those warnings as they think about options in the sovereign nation of Ukraine and I don't think there should be any doubt whatsoever that any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge - a grave mistake," US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

In Kiev, the 'Euromaidan' council made its announcement of Yatseniuk, plus candidates for several other key ministers.

Oleksander Turchinov, acting president since Yanukovich was toppled on Saturday by parliament, said the new government would have to take unpopular decisions to head off default and guarantee a normal life for Ukraine's people.

The Euromaidan's proposals have to be approved by parliament.

The council, made up of popular figures from the uprising which brought Yanukovich down, named career diplomat Andriy Deshchytsya, a former ambassador in Finland and in Iceland, as foreign minister.

Oleksander Shlapak, a former economy minister and former deputy head of the central bank, was named as finance minister.

Andriy Paruby, head of the "self-defence" force protecting the Kiev protest zone from police action during the three months of conflict, was named secretary of the powerful National Security and Defence Council.

"This is a government which is doomed to be able to work only for 3-4 months ... because they will have to take unpopular decisions", Turchinov said.

This would involve heading off default, establishing the trust of creditors and investors and guaranteeing a normal life for Ukraine's people.

"They will be criticised. They'll have mud smeared on them. But they'll have to fulfil their duty and be burned for the sake of Ukraine," he said.

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- Reuters

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