Ukraine will take the first steps this week towards forming a new government, President Petro Poroshenko said on Monday.
Poroshenko is trying to relieve concern among his western allies that the delay in doing so is holding up reform and jeopardizing their aid, Reuters reported.
The United States and other western governments have been criticizing Kiev’s tardiness in putting together a government after elections last month. Some suspect the delay is due to rivalry between Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk over control of key positions.
“We hope that the process [of forming a government] will begin this week,” Poroshenko said at a news conference with visiting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, apparently referring to the first session of the new parliament on Thursday.
Poroshenko also announced that Lithuania would provide Ukraine with some military aid to help Kiev in its fight against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.
It was not clear, however, if Lithuania was following the US, a fellow NATO member, in providing non-lethal military equipment or whether it was supplying weaponry — something NATO countries have so far been reluctant to do in case arming a non-member prompts a conflict with Russia.
Ukraine has pressed NATO countries to provide weapons to help it defend itself against attacks by well armed Russian-backed separatists who, before a ceasefire came into effect, inflicted heavy losses on government forces in their fight to hive off parts of Ukraine’s east.
Despite the ceasefire, three more Ukrainian soldiers were killed overnight into Monday, the Kiev military said.
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