File - Ukrainian tanks stand guard near a field on July 31, 2014 in the village of Debaltseve, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine. AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC
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Ukraine's parliament rejected Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk's resignation Thursday and finally passed legislation he said was needed to finance an army offensive against a separatist rebellion in the east and avert a national default on its debts.There is scant hope of a quick end to the crisis, during which Moscow has annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine, but envoys from Russia and Ukraine met in the Belarussian capital, Minsk, Thursday with the Organization for Security and Cooperation.In sharp contrast to the stormy parliamentary session last week at which Yatseniuk bellowed at legislators and accused them of betraying Ukraine by blocking reforms, deputies stood and applauded him after backing the amendments.Parliament's support for amendments to the 2014 budget was needed to offset a shortage of revenues and take into account extra spending on the army to release an additional 9.1 billion hryvnia ($758 million) to finance the military.Yatseniuk had said the government would have defaulted on debt payments and missed out on the release of further funds under a $17 billion International Monetary Fund bailout if it had failed to pass the legislation.
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