WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The White House on Saturday welcomed what it called "constructive work" in Ukraine's parliament, where the opposition has taken control and lawmakers voted to dismiss President Viktor Yanukovych, one day after the two sides signed a deal seeking to end a spiral of lethal violence in the country.
Spokesman Jay Carney said the developments in Ukraine on Saturday was moving "closer" to the goal of a de-escalation of violence, constitutional change, a coalition government and early elections, as agreed upon by Yanukovych and opposition leaders in their agreement.
"We welcome constructive work in the Rada and continue to urge the prompt formation of a broad, technocratic government of national unity," Carney said in a statement.
In the Rada or parliament, Alexandr Turchinov, an ally of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was elected new speaker on Saturday after his predecessor Volodymyr Rybak resigned citing health reasons. The parliament then passed resolutions to release Tymoshenko and dismiss Yanukovych from his office.
For his part, Yanukovych, who said he had no intention to quit or leave the country, dismissed the moves of the opposition leaders and the parliament as illegal and denounced the events witnessed by his country as "an example of a coup d'etat."
"The unshakable principle guiding events must be that the people of Ukraine determine their own future," Carney said, welcoming Tymoshenko's release from a prison hospital.
"Going forward, we will work with our allies, with Russia, and with appropriate European and international organizations to support a strong, prosperous, unified and democratic Ukraine," he added.