"Ukraine is ready to negotiate with the government of Russia, but our Russian neighbors should pull the troops out of the Crimea, comply with their bilateral and multilateral commitments, and stop supporting the separatists and terrorists in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea," Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday.
"Ukraine wants to develop relations with the Russian Federation, but we will never be its subordinates or its vassalage. The Russian leadership has to understand this," Yatsenyuk said. He said that the international community would not recognize the referendum on the Crimea's succession from Ukraine and accession to Russia slated for March 16th. There will be no referendum, because it is unconstitutional. No one will recognize its returns except, maybe for North Korea, Syria, or Venezuela. The Crimea was, is and will be part and parcel of Ukraine. That's out of question," Yatsenyuk said. Commenting on his visit to Brussels where he attended an emergency summit of the EU on Thursday, he said that the political part of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement would be signed within a few weeks, even before the presidential election in Ukraine scheduled for May 25th. He also said that the European Union's macro-financial assistance to Ukraine would total 15 billion dollars and that 2 billion would arrive very soon. "This macro-financial assistance will help carry out reforms in Ukraine and stabilize the economic situation," Yatseniuk said, adding that a separate clause in the financial aid package was "significant investment in the Ukrainian economy".