Tymoshenko 'does not want to be Ukrainian PM'

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko says she does not want to be considered for the post of prime minister. Earlier, her supporters in parliament said she was one of the three favourites to be named to head a government of national unity.

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Tymoshenko 'does not want to be prime minister'

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko says she does not want to be considered for the post of prime minister.

Earlier, her supporters in parliament said she was one of the three favourites to be named to head a government of national unity.

"It was a surprise for me when I heard that I was being proposed for the post of prime minister. Nobody agreed this with me or discussed it with me. "I am grateful for the respect this shows, but I ask not to be considered for this post," she said in comments on her website.

Merkel congratulates Tymoshenko on her release

Ukraine's freed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has spoken to Angela Merkel by telephone, according to Reuters.

The German Chancellor "congratulated Yulia Tymoshenko on her release and expressed the certainty that her return to mainstream politics would become one of the main factors in stabilising the situation in Ukraine", a statement said.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (L) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2008. Credit: Reuters

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Baroness Ashton welcomes Tymoshenko release

The release of Ukraine's former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been welcomed by European Union foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton.

European Union foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton has welcomed the release of Yulia Tymoshenko Credit: PA

In a statement she said the EU is "following minute by minute the rapidly changing political situation in Ukraine".

"I call on all sides to continue engaging in a meaningful dialogue to fulfil the legitimate democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people," she added.

Rivers of tears amid a Ukrainian revolution

Yulia Tymoshcenko's supporters came in their tens of thousands to witness her speech after spending three years in jail as a political prisoner.

This followed a day of heartache Ukrainians began laying to rest those who had been gunned down in the violent protests. ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports:

In pictures: Tymoshenko addresses protesters in Kiev

Freed Ukraine opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko told anti-government protesters in an emotional speech, "You have no right to leave the Maidan [Independence Square] ... Don't stop yet."

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko sits in a wheelchair as she addresses the crowd. Credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Anti-government protesters listen to the newly-released Yulia Tymoshenko. Credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Ukraine opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko pays tribute at the spot where a protester died. Credit: REUTERS/Andrew Kravchenko

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Tymoshenko: Ukrainians 'bravest and best people'

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates was the first western journalist to speak to freed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, as she arrived to Kiev's Independence Square.

Tymoshenko told him: "I want to say to Ukrainians that they are the bravest and best people in the world. They were able to stop a dictatorship, they have opened Ukraine's path to democracy, to freedom and to Europe.

"I thank them all - they are my heroes."

Tymoshenko: 'This will affect other dictatorships'

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko said other dictatorships around the world will be affected by the events in Kiev.

The former Prime Minister called the protesters at Kiev's Independence Square heroes and pledged to work with them to "heal the country."

Kiev's Independence Square is full of protesters Credit: APTN

In an emotional speech to thousands of protesters after she was carried on to a stage in a wheelchair, she said: "You have no right to leave the Maidan (square)... Don't stop yet."

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