Protesters guard the barricades around seized government headquarters in Lviv, western Ukraine, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Pavlo Palamarchuk)
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In back-to-back moves aimed at defusing Ukraine's political crisis, the prime minister resigned Tuesday and parliament repealed anti-protest laws that had set off violent clashes between protesters and police.The two developments were significant concessions to the anti-government protesters who have fought sporadically with police for the last 10 days after two months of peaceful around-the-clock demonstrations. The departure of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov removes one of the officials most disliked by the opposition forces whose protests have turned parts of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, into a barricaded maze. Azarov's resignation came just before the opening of a special parliament session that repealed anti-protest laws that had set off violent clashes between protesters and police.Putin said Tuesday that Russia will abide by the deal to buy those bonds and offer its neighbor cheaper natural gas even if the Ukrainian government ends up being led by the opposition.
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