Ukraine ex-PM Azarov jets to Austria

Mykola Azarov, who resigned as Ukrainian prime minister this week in a failed bid to defuse the violent crisis engulfing the country, is now in Austria, a press report said Friday.

The Kronen-Zeitung said that Azarov, 66, a close ally of President Viktor Yanukovych, flew to Vienna to join family members in a private jet hours after quitting, and plans to stay for a while.

The Ukrainian embassy in Vienna declined to comment, as did the Austrian foreign and interior ministries. The daily newspaper cited unnamed "insiders" for its online report.

Azarov's resignation on Tuesday and the scrapping of new anti-protest laws failed to halt the crisis in ex-Soviet Ukraine, sparked in November by Yanukovych's decision to scrap a key pact with the European Union under Russian pressure.

stu/dh