Ukraine’s deposed president Viktor Yanukovych has called on all of the country’s regions to hold a referendum on their status “within Ukraine”.
His speech was dismissed by one of his former aides.
“I just told Mr Yanukovych that Ukraine is a very poor country and he knows why this country is poor. So we cannot afford this kind of luxury, to hold a referendum in every city and village – just to ask a question which we know the answer to in advance: that every city and region belongs to a united Ukraine,” Party of Regions MP Hanna Herman said.
Yanukovych also asked his party, the Party of Regions, to exclude him on Friday.
He does not recognise the presidential elections to be held in Ukraine on May 25. His party however is fielding a candidate.
The Party of Regions is putting forward 44-year-old Mykhaylo Dobkin.
Dobkin is the former governor of Kharkiv and was a former staunch supporter of Yanukovych. He also defended the recently disbanded riot police unit Berkut which was criticised for its use of brutal and excessive force against EuroMaidan protesters.
Herman said that Dobkin was the best candidate for improving relations with Moscow.
“I think that among the candidates to whom Moscow might talk, we can mention Poroshenko, we can mention Tigipko and we can also mention Mikhaylo Dobkin, because he is the most probable candidate for Moscow,” she said.