Ukraine's parliament removes President

|By:, SA News Editor

Following a week of violent anti-government protests that has left dozens dead, Ukraine's parliament yesterday voted to oust President Viktor Yanukovych and to set elections for May 25.

The ballot came not long after demonstrators took control of Kiev's city center and Yanukovych left the capital to the eastern part of the country. He tried to board a plane to Russia but was prevented.

The parliament also freed opposition leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison after 2 1/2 years of incarceration.

The removal of Yanukovych comes after S&P downgraded Ukraine to CCC from CCC+ and said that the country is likely to default because of the political situation

Yanukovych's ouster could pull Ukraine, which is a key east-west oil route, back towards the EU and away from Russia. Demonstrations first started against the government in November after Yanukovych rejected an EU integration pact in favor of $15B in Russian assistance.