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Ukraine alone should shape its constitution: Polish PM

Third countries should stay out of the debate over Ukraine's future constitution, Poland's prime minister said Wednesday, amid Russia's insistence on solving the crisis through federalisation. "Ukraine's future constitution should, in our opinion, be adopted by Ukrainians alone. And the shape of Ukraine's constitution should not be a topic of discussion for third countries," Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters.

Brawl in Ukraine parliament as communist supports pro-Russia protesters

KIEV (Reuters) - Deputies in the Ukrainian parliament brawled in the chamber on Tuesday after a communist leader accused nationalists of playing into the hands of Russia by adopting extreme tactics early in the Ukrainian crisis. Two deputies from the Svoboda far-right nationalist party took exception to the charges by communist Petro Symonenko and seized him while he was talking from the rostrum. His party supporters rallied to his defense and a brawl broke out with deputies from other parties joining in and trading punches.

Russia trying to 'dismember Ukraine': PM Yatsenyuk

Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Monday accused Russia of being behind a series of seizures by protesters of regional government buildings and said Moscow was trying to 'dismember' his country. "There is a plan to destabilise the situation, a plan for foreign forces to cross the border and seize the territory of the country, which we will not allow," Yatsenyuk told a government meeting. "This scenario is written by the Russian Federation and it's only purpose is to dismember Ukraine." zak/yad

Ridding Ukraine of corruption is vital, says presidential candidate

By Paul Ingrassia and Richard Balmforth KIEV (Reuters) - Ridding Ukraine of corruption is key for any new leadership, says presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko, who warns that failure will anger a "reborn" people with high expectations for real change after months of turmoil. Poroshenko, a confectionery billionaire who is one of two leading candidates in a May 25 election, said Ukrainians had earned the right to a path to membership in the EU after the revolt that threw off president Viktor Yanukovich.

Far-right Ukrainian activist tortured to death

The body of a far-right Ukrainian activist and reporter was found dumped in the woods with signs of torture a day after his abduction, his party said on Sunday. The blood-caked and bruised remains of Svoboda (Freedom) ultranationalist party member Vasyl Sergiyenko were found under a pile of rubbish in the woods near the central Ukrainian village of Vygrayev, 120 kilometres (75 miles) southeast of Kiev, the party said in a statement.

Ukraine 'does not accept' Russia's gas price hike

Ukraine's new prime minister on Saturday said Kiev rejected Russia's latest gas price hike and accused his neighbour of "economic aggression". "Political pressure is unacceptable. And we do not accept the price of $500 (per 1,000 cubic metres of gas)," Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a government meeting. "Russia was unable to seize Ukraine by means of military aggression. Now, they are implementing plans to seize Ukraine through economic aggression." os-zak/yad

Ukraine 'does not accept' Russia's gas price hike

Ukraine's new prime minister on Saturday said Kiev rejected Russia's latest gas price hike and accused his neighbour of "economic aggression". "Political pressure is unacceptable. And we do not accept the price of $500 (per 1,000 cubic metres of gas)," Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a government meeting. "Russia was unable to seize Ukraine by means of military aggression. Now, they are implementing plans to seize Ukraine through economic aggression." os-zak/yad

Inventory of gifts Harper has received over the years from Putin, Yanukovych

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has in his possession a wide array of gifts that he has received over the years from Russian President Vladimir Putin and disgraced former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych. An inventory: Gifts from Putin:

Gifts from Putin to Harper now awkward mementoes in time of Ukraine crisis

OTTAWA - They are the awkward mementoes of happier times, a closet-full of gifts that Prime Minister Stephen Harper graciously accepted from Russian President Vladimir Putin as recently as last September. An original painting, aged cognac, books and hand-painted ceramics recalling Russia's imperialist tradition — all of them duly declared to Canada's ethics commissioner as personal gifts received from Putin. And then there are the items received in 2010 from Viktor Yanukovych, then-president of Ukraine who was ousted in disgrace this year.

Ukraine blames Russian agents for Kiev carnage

EU foreign ministers prepared to meet over the Crimea crisis in Athens Friday after Ukraine's Western-backed leaders blamed Russian agents and the country's ousted president for organising the bloodshed during February protests that claimed nearly 90 lives. The explosive allegations were levelled only moments before Russia responded to the new course taken by the ex-Soviet neighbour by hiking the price it must pay for gas shipments to what Ukrainian officials say is the highest rate for any European state.
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