UKRAINE PROTESTS CONTINUE AS EU ANNOUNCES DECISION TO HALT FURTHER DISCUSSIONS AND YANUKOVYCH PREPARES TO GO FLY OUT TO MOSCOW

16.12.13



Photo: Independent

THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED WITH FRESH LINKS TO WESTERM MEDIA REPORTS DURING THE DAY.

The EU yesterday announced that it is suspending further talks on signing any agreements with Ukraine amid frustration at President Yanukovych's and his government's political machinations.

Ukraine's government announced on 21 November that the country would not sign an Association and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU on 21 November and President Yanukovych implemented this decison by refusing to sign the EU integration package in Vilnius on 29 November.

The U-turn provoked mass peaceful protests which the authorities tried to quash by resorting to the use of brutal force. This brought even more people out onto the streets with almost 1 million demonstrators standing firm in Kyiv's Independence Square on 8 Novemeber.

Over the weekend, several hundred thousand Ukrainians amassed again in Kyiv as the authorities tried to create their own "anti-maidan" demonstration.  Trains and coaches were laid on for pro-government supporters to meet in Kyiv.  The rally, which chanted Putin's name, was addressed by PM Azarov and was closed by late afternoon.

EU officials and Ukraine's anti-government protesters - who have again turned out in Kyiv's Square in their thousands today - fear that the Ukrainian authories are intent on strengthening the country's ties with Russia by signing a “strategic agreement” tomorrow. Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced this morning that Ukraine will not be signing up to the Customs Union tomorrow.

Meanwhile the Party of the Regions (PR) is this morning holding an internal meeting to disuss its further strategy in the face of unrelenting calls by opposition leaders and protesters for the government to resign. Hanna Herman, a spokesman for the Party, said that the PR is calling nn Mykola Azarov to reshuffle the government with a 90% change of personnel.

SEE ALSO:

Financial Times: Russia confirms it is ready to issue new loans to Ukraine

Reuters: EU suspends trade talks with Ukraine, crowds rally against government

Daily Telegraph: Ukraine would be enriched by real democracy (By Foreign Secretary William Hague)

NBC: Ukraine protests: McCain warns US could act over Russia deal

Financial Times: Door remains ‘wide open’ after EU loses patience with Ukraine

Reuters: EU says door remains open to Ukraine as unity cracks


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