Party of Regions supporters begin rally near parliament, planning to stay until adoption of budget
A large rally by supporters of the Party of Regions began outside the building of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Monday.
An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent said that the supporters and representatives of the Party of Regions, in particular, MP Mykhailo Chechetov, delivered speeches from a stage set up on Constitution Square.
The pro-government party began its rally on Monday morning and promised to continue it until the adoption of the state budget for 2014.
The commandant of the tent city in Mariyinsky Park, Oleksandr Zinchenko, told reporters that people are holding a rally because they want "stability in the country" and believe that it is unacceptable to hinder the adoption of the state budget.
He said that people from various regions were participating in the rally. He also noted that some of the protesters would spend the night in the tent city in Mariyinsky Park.
Zinchenko said that residents of Kyiv participating in the rally were collecting signatures that will be sent to the city council with the request to free the center of Kyiv of demonstrators, including Khreschatyk and Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square). At the same time, the commandant said that the protesters were in favor of a peaceful solution to this issue and were against the violent dispersal of the pro-European rally.
An Interfax-Ukraine reporter said that about ten tents had been set up in the park and metal shields had been installed perpendicular to Hrushevskoho Street, with law enforcement officers standing behind them. They divided the park into two parts, one of which (the one closer to the Verkhovna Rada) was reserved for the rally. Participants in the rally are holding the flags of the Party of Regions and national flags.
More than a dozen buses with police officers are parked on the streets adjacent to the Verkhovna Rada.
No incidents related to the rally have yet been reported.