EU Ashton in Kiev as new government accuses ousted Yanukovich of mass murder

  

The Ukrainian authorities announced on Monday that ousted president Viktor Yanukovich is wanted on an arrest warrant for mass murder, after Ukrainian police snipers shot anti-government protesters earlier last week.

The Commission has so far declined to comment on the arrest warrant, as EU Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton is in Kiev for discussions with party leaders about financial aid to Ukraine.

The warrant was issued after Russian-backed Yanukovich fled Kiev by helicopter on Friday, in a failed attempt to reach Russia.

Last week, EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions on Ukrainian officials, including banning visas and freezing assets. The Commission has yet to name who specifically will be affected by the measures or if Yanukovich will be on the list.

Ukraine's interim government has pledged to put the country back on course for EU integration and new elections are scheduled for May 25th, the same day as the European elections.

The Ukrainian conflict started in November, after now ex- president Viktor Yanukovich declined to sign a free trade deal with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow.

The move spurred huge anti-government demonstrations, which turned deadly in mid-February, leaving over 80 people dead.