Ukrainian interim PM due to US in talks as crisis grows

Discussions about the Ukrainian political crisis will take place during Yatsenyuk`s talks

Discussions about the Ukrainian political crisis will take place during Yatsenyuk`s talks

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukrainian Interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk will make an official visit to the U.S. next week for discussions about the Ukrainian political crisis due to the rift between pro-Western and pro-Russian Ukrainians.

Yatsenyuk, saying that he would not lead a cabinet meeting on Wednesday because he will be in the U.S., did not specified with whom he would speak in the U.S.

The protests began in November after former President Viktor Yanukovych shelved a long-anticipated agreement on closer ties with the European Union. Russia announced a $15 billion bailout for the economically battered country. Yanukovych was ousted from the presidency in February. An interim government now holds power in Ukraine, and presidential elections are scheduled to be held May 25.

Meanwhile, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former Russian tycoon who was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin in December after serving ten years in prison for tax fraud, arrived in Ukraine joining the mourning for the anti-Yanukovych protesters who died, according to the Euromaidan press office in Kiev, which was established by the protesters.

In 2004, Khodorkovsky was the wealthiest man in Russia and one of the richest people in the world, ranking 16th on Forbes` list of billionaires. He was arrested Oct. 25, 2003 by Russian authorities and sentenced to nine years in prison for tax evasion. Khodorkovsky and business partner Platon Lebedev were found guilty of embezzlement and money laundering in December, 2010.

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