Russian President Vladimir Putin's move to dismiss the cabinet is a purge of former President Boris Yeltsin's legacy in the government, says Yabloko Vice Chairman Sergey Mitrokhin. '(Former Premier) Mikhail Kasyanov is one of the last government leaders close to the Yeltsin family. By dismissing Kasyanov from his duties as premier, Putin is demonstrating his independence and preparedness for a new course in economics,' said Mitrokhin. He added that Putin's decision is directly related to the upcoming presidential elections on March 14. 'This is Putin's attempt to solve several pre-election problems,' he said.
Russia respects the territorial integrity of Ukraine as per the 1991 Declaration of Independence, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a news conference following the 78th session of the UN General Assembly