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EU Foreign Policy Chief Vows Support for Ukraine

The European Union's foreign policy chief is promising strong international support for Ukraine as it works to form a new government following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych

Catherine Ashton spoke at a news conference Tuesday while visiting the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. She said Western financial institutions are working on ways to help Ukraine's economy recover from three months of political protests. Ashton also urged Russia to let the nation find its own way forward out of its political crisis.

Earlier in the day, Ukraine's parliament postponed until Thursday plans to elect a new national unity government. Parliament speaker and acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, made the announcement on Tuesday, when the legislature was due to unveil its new leaders.

Reports say the delay is meant to allow for further consultations on the issue.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is due in Ukraine Tuesday. He is expected to meet with acting president Turchynov, as well members of parliament.

The State Department said Burns "will urge the new government to take all steps necessary for free and fair presidential elections in May."

On Monday, the interim government in Ukraine issued an arrest warrant for ousted president Yanukovych, accusing him and other officials of mass murder of anti-government protesters.



Acting interior minister Arsen Avakhov said Mr. Yanukovych was last seen in the pro-Russian Crimea region of Ukraine, but that the ousted leader's exact whereabouts are not clear.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday the United States is ready to provide financial support to Ukraine, to complement aid from the International Monetary Fund and help the country invest more in health and education.

There is split support in Ukraine between those who want the country to favor relations with Europe and those who want closer ties with Russia. Ousted president Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the EU in November, setting off protests that led to him being kicked out of office.

Mr. Yanukovych fled Kyiv on Saturday for his support base in eastern Ukraine.

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