Ukraine PM slams "coup attempt", rules out early vote-reports

MOSCOW Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:10am EST

MOSCOW Jan 23 (Reuters) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on Thursday accused opposition protesters of trying to stage a coup d'etat and said it would be unrealistic to hold an early presidential election, Russian news agencies reported.

"A genuine attempt at a coup d'etat is being carried out," Interfax quoted Azarov as saying on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, referring to weeks of protests over the government's decision to scrap plans to sign a landmark trade pact with the European Union.

He was quoted as saying the unrest, in which three people on the side of the protesters have been killed, made it "absolutely unrealistic" to held an early presidential vote. The next presidential vote is to be held in spring 2015.

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