SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's interim leader has moved quickly to open up a dialogue with the West -- meeting today with the European Union's foreign policy chief.
The meeting came on the same day that the interim government drew up an arrest warrant for President Viktor Yanukovych in the killing of anti-government protesters last week. His effort to develop closer ties with Russia rather than with the European Union helped bring about the months of protests that culminated in last week's violent clashes.
Yanukovych fled the capital over the weekend, reportedly for a pro-Russian area of eastern Ukraine. Officials say he released his official security detail, and drove off to an unknown location. Ukraine's parliament speaker has been acting as the government's interim leader.
Russia's premier today questioned the legitimacy of the new leadership in Kiev. But he wouldn't say what Moscow might do to protect its interests in Ukraine. In Washington, the White House says wherever Yanukovych is, he's not currently leading his country. A White House spokesman says the U.S. is ready to help Ukraine regain economic stability.
In Kiev, thousands are continuing to flock to the area where last week's clashes took place, lighting candles and laying flowers where dozens were shot dead. One activist says Yanukovych should be arrested and brought to Kiev's main square for trial.
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