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Margelov: Yanukovych not in Russia, Moscow would not grant him asylum

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Feb. 26, 2014, 11:20 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
© AFP

Moscow, February 26 (Interfax) - Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych declared wanted in Ukraine in relation to a criminal case is not in Russia, head of the Federation Council International Affairs' Committee Mikhail Margelov has said.

"I know definitely that Yanukovych is not in Russia and, in my modest opinion, Russia would not have granted him asylum," Margelov said in an interview with Russia Today.

He stressed that Russia has no intentions of severing relations with Ukraine. "We maintain our ties, our relations with Ukraine in all spheres and have no intensions of severing them. We summoned our ambassador from Kyiv for consultations, because we really have to hold consultations with him and find out what is happening there," Margelov said.

In his opinion, there can be no surprises with the further deployment of the Black Sea Fleet in the light of the latest developments.

"The Ukrainian government has signed a legally binding agreement with us. We know that at a certain moment after its expiry we will withdraw the fleet from Sevastopol. We are now preparing a naval base in Russian territory, therefore I think that there should be no surprises in our bilateral relations on the matter," Margelov said.

He described the current political situation in Ukraine as one of the most complicated in the world. There is a parliament which passes new laws but it is not clear whether these laws can come into effect without the signature of the president, the senator added.

"It is assumed that the speaker of Verkhovna Rada is the acting president but here several questions arise again. How much does this comply with the current Ukrainian constitution or even the 2004 constitution? We see an absolutely odd collection of laws belonging to different historical stages. It is hard to tell from this what is lawful in Ukraine and what is not," Margelov said.

He said that former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko used to be a symbol of protests against Yanukovych when she was in prison. Now opposition leaders will have to decide who of them is most important, who is going to take part in the elections and who is going to assume responsibility for the country. "I believe that the issue will be one of the most difficult ones for the economy of Ukraine and its citizens," Margelov said.

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