Ukraine’s ousted president, Victor Yanukovych, has sharply criticized the United States for backing what he calls a bandit regime in Ukraine.
In a media statement on Tuesday, Yanukovich censured Washington for giving financial aid to “bandits,” in an apparent reference to the interim government in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian parliament ousted Yanukovych in February and named Oleksandr Turchynov, the legislature’s newly-elected speaker, as interim president. The ouster followed months of anti-government protests in the country.
The ousted president also told reporters in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don that he will ask the US Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States to give a legal assessment of the US administration’s policies toward the crisis in Ukraine.
“Your own laws give you no right to give money to bandits,” Yanukovych stated.
“Everyone is aware of the US government’s plans to allocate $1 billion for this bandit regime. As far as I know, US laws prohibit extending financial assistance to the government of any state where the legitimately elected president was ousted as a result of a military coup or any other illegal decision.”
Yanukovych said he remains Ukraine’s legitimate president and commander-in-chief and described the presidential election set for May 25 as illegitimate.
The ousted president also urged the international community not to support what he described as an “anti-constitutional coup” in the country.
Yanukovich also stated that he never fled his country, and promised to return.
Political crisis erupted in Ukraine in November 2013, after Yanukovych, refrained from signing the Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
On February 21, Yanukovych signed a deal with the opposition to form a new government and to end the deadly political crisis that had engulfed the country.
Under the terms of the deal, Ukraine’s ousted president, granted many concessions to the Western-backed opposition, including early elections and the formation of a new unity government. The peace deal, however, was breached by protesters within hours.