The Ukrainian capital has been gripped by weeks of anti-government protests which have seen violent clashes between rioters and police. Unrest is also spreading beyond Kiev as the opposition and government struggle to end the crisis.
The police HQ in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk has been cleared of anti-government protesters, said Ukrainian police.
Meanwhile, protesters are still blocking the city airport, the police added.
On Saturday, pro-federalization protesters occupied police headquarters in the town of Kramatorsk. Around 50 armed protesters entered the building and several warning shots were fired.
Russia will protect its agriculture business from unfair Ukrainian competition under the WTO mechanism, if such a threat arises after a potential Ukrainian withdrawal from the CIS, or the country signing the economic part of the EU association agreement. The warning comes from Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who was addressing a conference of rural communities.
At the moment Russia and Ukraine have a number of agreements on trade preferences and cooperation. Russia has for months warned that it would have to respond to Ukraine’s entering a free trade agreement with the EU by curtailing protection of domestic producers, which was one of the reasons why President Yanukovich refused to sign it last year.
After Yanukovich was ousted in an armed coup, the new authorities pushed through the European integration agenda, although so far only the political part of the agreement has been signed.
Dmitry Yarosh, the leader of neo-fascist party Right Sector has submitted all of the required documents to the Central Election Commission (CEC) to run for president in May 25 elections, Inter-fax reports, saying that he will run on an independent platform.
So far 5 out of 19 candidates that have expressed their will to run for president have been registered by CEC.
Fearing the consequences for their businesses, a number of top German executives criticized their government and the general Western approach in threatening Russia with increased sanctions over Moscow's position over Ukraine.
Steelmaker ThyssenKrupp's Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger told daily newspaper Die Welt that the West should focus on cooperation, not alienation of Russia.
"Now we have a situation in which Russia feels that its back is against the wall," Reuters quotes. The bilateral trade between the two countries reached 76.5 billion euros last year, but the threat of sanctions, many analysts predict will reduce that volume.
"Many German companies that invested in Russia last year or wanted to build production sites there have now given up their plans or put them on ice," Bernd Hones, Economic Correspondent at economic development agency Germany Trade & Invest in Moscow, told weekly paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
More 300,000 German jobs are dependent on Russian business ties. Germany also receives around 35 percent of its gas from Moscow.
Over 500 Ukrainian servicemen have left their military installations in the city of Sevastopol and registered at the temporary personnel registration point organized by the city authorities, city government chief Aleksey Chaly said. More Ukrainian servicemen are expected to register within the nearest days, he said.
Chaly said that the city of Sevastopol will carry out its obligations to the Ukrainian military, including paying their salaries, for the next three months.
The Crimea parliament on Monday ruled that all Ukrainian military units in the region will be disbanded, Interfax reported.
Following the Crimea referendum, the Sevastopol city council issued a resolution on entering Russia as a federal city and authorized Chaly to sign an affiliation treaty with Russia.
Ukraine’s parliament voted to allocate approximately 1.96 billion hryvinas (approximately 218 million dollars) from the state budget to hold early presidential elections, slated to be held on May 25. The measure received 352 affirmative votes out, far surpassing the 226 required for it to pass. The chairman of the parliamentary budget committee Eugene Heller said the money would be reallocated to the election from other government programs.
The Ukrainian parliament has voted to oust judges from the country’s constitutional court for violating their oath of office by allowing for the constitution to be amended in 2010. The upper house of the Ukrainian parliament voted overwhelmingly in support of the measure. In September 2010, Ukraine's constitutional court increased the powers of recently ousted President Viktor Yanukovych by reversing a reform introduced in 2004, which limited presidential powers in favor of parliament. The court said the move had been unconstitutional, effectively returning the country to its previous status as a presidential republic. Deputies, however, believe the constitutional court violated its oath of office in doing so.
Several hundred armed and masked protesters have gathered at the building of the Kiev city administration, some of them heading to Bessarabskay Square, Itar-tass reported.
Earlier on Saturday, Kiev residents gathered near Lvov square in order to clean up the streets. Their actions were seen by the protesters as an attempt to dismantle the barricades on Independence Square. Several ambulances and police patrols were reported to be stationed in the area.
Ukrainian parliament did not agree on limiting presidential powers during Tuesday’s debate. Anti-government protesters are calling for curbing the president’s powers through constitutional amendments.