Ukraine to reshuffle govt, amend anti-protest laws: President

Ukrainian President promises govt reshuffle, amendments to anti-protest laws

KIEV: The Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich on Friday agreed to reshuffle the government and bring amendments to the anti-protest laws that triggered violent clashes in the capital Kiev, Russian media reported.

“We will make a decision at this session [on January 28]. I will sign a decree and we will reshuffle the government in order to find the best possible professional government team,” Yanukovich said.

Earlier, the Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov told media persons at the economic forum in Davos, Switzerland that Ukraine is discussing international mediation of the current crisis in the country with Switzerland and the European Union (EU).

The prime minister also noted that he sees a role for international mediators in the negotiations with the opposition in Ukraine.

“Whatever is good for a peaceful settlement should be used,” Azarov said.

The prime minister noted that he met EU Commissioner Štefan Füle, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter in Davos.

Ukraine has been rocked by anti-government protests after Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the EU at the third Eastern Partnership Summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on November 29 last year in favor of closer ties with Russia.

Kiev refused to sign the agreement after the EU leaders called on Ukraine to allow jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to travel overseas for medical treatment.

Later, Ukraine and Russia reached a strategic economic and trade deal in December, which provides Ukraine with significant discounts on imported Russian gas and billions of dollars in credit.