Ukraine unrest: Rival politicians face off at summit

There were testy exchanges between Un Kozhara (left) and Un Klitschko at the security summit.
There were testy exchanges between Un Kozhara (left) and Un Klitschko at the security summit.

BBC Online :
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko have clashed face to face at a security summit in Munich.
The two men appeared in a discussion, during which Un Klitschko showed Un Kozhara images of injuries he said were inflicted by the police on protesters.
Un Kozhara suggested some of the opposition were right-wing extremists.
Ukraine has been in turmoil since November, when it scrapped an EU accord in favour of a Russian bailout.
“The Ukrainian people have shown and have proven that they are able to to defend their decision on Europe despite repressive measures being taken,” Un Klitschko said, the Associated Press news agency reports.
He added that the opposition felt stronger because of the support from western friends of Ukraine.
Earlier, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy had said the “future of Ukraine belongs with the EU” while US Secretary of State John Kerry had said the US backed Ukraine’s “fight for democracy”.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had accused Western countries of double standards over violent protests.
After Un Klitschko showed Un Kozhara the images he said were of the effects of police brutality, Un Kozhara replied by accusing some of the protesters of belonging to far-right groups.
“Are you with the extremist groups who wear some logos and emblems that looks like Nazi style emblems on them?” he asked Un Klitschko.
“Are you with the extremists who are attacking the police with Molotov cocktails?” he added.
On the issue of whether Ukraine should orient itself more towards the EU or Russia, Un Kozhara also pointed out that “there are eight million ethnic Russians living in the country”.
The issue of Ukraine protester Dmytro Bulatov was also raised at the conference.
He went missing for eight days and said he had been kidnapped and tortured by captors who spoke with Russian accents.
He is now in hospital in Kiev under guard from both police and anti-government demonstrators.
Un Kozhara told Al-Jazeera television; “Physically this man is in a good condition. The only thing he has is a scratch on one of his cheeks.”
He went on to say it seemed that his claim to have been kidnapped and tortured was “not absolutely true”.
However, the foreign ministry later issued a statement saying his comments “do not reflect the real attitude of Minister Kozhara on this tragic situation”.
“The minister is profoundly sorry for what happened to Dmytro Bulatov and wishes him a speedy recovery.