Ukraine's Yanukovich returns to work, street protests go on

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By Richard Balmforth and Natalia Zinets KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich returned to his desk on Monday after four days of sick leave, while the political opposition pressed for further concessions to end more than two months of street protests. Yanukovich, caught in a tug of war between Russia and the West, is seeking a way out of a sometimes violent confrontation with protesters who have occupied city streets and public buildings following his decision in November to spurn a trade deal with the EU and accept financial aid from Moscow. His first urgent task, after returning from an absence that some saw as a tactical gambit to gain time, is to name a new prime minister to succeed Mykola Azarov, who stepped down on January 28 under pressure from the protest movement. The speaker of parliament, an ally of Yanukovich, told lawmakers on Monday ahead of a new session of the legislature starting on Tuesday that the president was still planning to discuss the choice of premier with opposition leaders.