Ukraine Leader Yatsenyuk Holds Talks In Troubled East
Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged the protesters to tell locals that the Kiev Government would ensure security and economic progress in the East.
He was in Donetsk, where armed pro-Russia activists demanding self-rule were holding a Government building.
Mr Yatsenyuk’s trip comes amid rising tension between Russia and the United States over Russian gas supplies and troop movements.
Yatseniuk met with regional government representatives in the eastern city of Donetsk on Friday (April 11), where pro-Russian separatists continued to occupy an official building.
“I would like to state clearly that the central government is not only ready for dialogue with regions but is ready to fulfill lawful requirements and wishes of all of the citizens of our country.
“In the framework of the changed constitution, we will be able to satisfy specific requests of every single region.”
Separatists in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Lugansk are occupying two official buildings after rejecting a government offer of an amnesty in exchange for laying down their weapons.
The continued occupation raised fears that the authorities could follow through on a threat to use force to clear the buildings that have been occupied for a week.
Protesters wearing bullet-proof vests and armed with Kalashnikov rifles in a former KGB headquarters in Lugansk said that they would lay down their weapons only if Kiev agreed to hold a referendum on the future of the largely Russian-speaking region.
Crimea voted last month for union with Russia in a referendum held after Moscow’s forces had already taken control of the black sea peninsula.
Kiev has rejected holding a similar vote in the East, saying the occupations are part of a Russian-led plan to dismember the country.