Ukrainian president warns against extremism

Kiev, Feb 4: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych Monday warned Ukrainians against fomenting extremism and radicalism in the country.

“I urge to say ‘no’ to extremism, radicalism and fomenting enmity, which is based on the political struggle for power,” Xinhua quoted Yanukovych as saying during an international round table entitled ‘The democratic process and the threat of radicalism in Ukraine.’

On the recent confrontation between anti-government demonstrators and police officers, Yanukovych expressed regret and called on Ukrainians to unite against Nazism, racism and xenophobia.

Earlier in the day, Yanukovych returned to work after four days of sick leave.

Anti-government demonstrations in Ukraine turned violent Jan 19 when protesters attacked police with sticks, fireworks and petrol bombs. The far-right groups, which are seeking to “overthrow the current regime, even by force,” reportedly were the initiators of the violent clashes with police.

At least four demonstrators were killed during the unrest and hundreds of others, including police officers, were injured.

The protests in Ukraine began last November over the government’s decision to put on hold an association agreement with the European Union.