Russia recalls ambassador as Ukraine's interim leader vows closer EU tiesUpdated: 2014-02-24 21:59:08 KST
Ukraine's new interim president Oleksandr Turchynov has vowed to chart a course toward European integration.
Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovich was removed from power by parliamentary vote on Saturday, marking a new chapter in the crisis-stricken nation.
Turchynov said MPs had until Tuesday to form a new national unity government and that it would be willing to build relations with Russia in a "new and fair partnership."
Ukraine is a country in transition, and could have a new president by the summer.
The nation's parliament has decided to bump up the presidential election by almost a year to the end of May.
In other developments, authorities issued an arrest warrant for ousted President Yanukovich and other officials on Monday on charges of the mass murder of citizens during protests.
Yanukovich's whereabouts are currently unknown.
Amid the rapidly changing political situation, Russia denounced the removal of Yanukovich, recalling its Kiev ambassador and threatening to freeze a $15 billion U.S. dollar bailout package.
On Sunday, European allies and the United States warned Russia not to send its forces into Ukraine.
"That would be a grave mistake. It's not in the interests of Ukraine or of Russia or of Europe or the United States to see a country split."
But as dawn broke over Independence Square in Kiev early Monday, exhausted Ukrainians paid their respect to the hundreds who died in violent protests over the past two weeks.
"Yes I hope that there will be changes and everything will be normal. That's what we are standing here for and that's what people died for."
Paul Yi, Arirang News
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