Kyiv, 26 April 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Russia said today that relations between Moscow and Kyiv would not be affected by the Ukrainian parliament's decision to oust the country's government. Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Yakovenko said Russia is prepared to work with whomever is chosen to replace ousted Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko. Yakovenko called the no-confidence vote an "internal matter."
In Brussels, the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, urged Ukraine today not to abandon political and economic reforms despite the ouster of the reform-oriented prime minister by the Communist-dominated parliament.
Solana told reporters in Brussels the EU does not want the vote to alter the process of reform in Ukraine. Solana said Yushchenko had enjoyed the confidence of the EU and Yushchenko's government had been seeking to form closer ties with the EU.
The Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly has decided not to impose sanctions on Ukraine for the country's record on democratic norms.
The assembly instead today decided to give Ukraine until June to make substantial progress on its rights record or face possible suspension from the Council of Europe.
(For more on Yushchenko's ouster see Yushchenko Fails Confidence Vote