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Ukraine's New Government to Work on Economy, Reconciliation

  • Zlatica Hoke

Ukraine's parliament voted to approve the country's new leadership Thursday, amid protests by some who believe the government is being formed before people have enough time to study the candidates. They are urging Ukrainian lawmakers to form a government that represents all segments of society.

Ukraine's ambassador to the United States, Oleksandr Motsyk, told VOA his country now has a legitimate government whose primary goal is to stabilize the nation.

"Now the main task is to work on economic issues as well on security issues, on such issues as territorial integrity of Ukraine and viability of its frontiers, and calming down the situation and strengthening the stability," he said.

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Ukraine has a sizeable Russian-speaking population, most of it in the Crimea region, adjacent to the Black Sea. People in that area have expressed concern about their future in Ukraine after the departure of President Viktor Yanukovych. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an urgent military drill in Russian areas near the Ukrainian border. Western leaders have warned Moscow against any intervention in Ukraine.

Motsyk praised the United States and the European Union for supporting his country's independence and territorial integrity.

"It's very important to show to the whole world that nobody has the right to play any cards, including the Crimean card, and it is important to also - to provide Ukraine as soon as possible with economic and financial assistance package," he said.

The United States and Europe also have urged Ukraine's new leaders to form an all-inclusive government to save the country from disintegrating.

Political analyst Ilan Berman at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington says it does not matter which politicians will make up the new government, but rather what policies they will establish.

"I think you have a very significant, credible Russian threat of military force among other things, certainly of Russian pressure that is likely to steer the process at least somewhat so that candidates that emerge do emerge in part because the Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine find them acceptable," said Berman.

Many Ukrainians understand that and say there is no need to dismiss all members of the former government.

“There should be some old ones, but the majority should be from the new ones," said Kyiv resident Galina Muchienko.

And some think it was wrong to disband the riot police.

“To just disband them and leave them without any job is not practical. What will they do, all these people? Maybe tomorrow they will kill, steal and rob or form gangs,” said another Kyiv resident.

Analysts say Ukraine's future may depend on its ability to secure economic aid and restore calm in the coming weeks.