TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] Press statement and answers to journalists’ questions following Russian-Armenian talks (excerpt re Putin on Ukraine)

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Valdai Club 2013 Meeting, Adapted from Screenshot of Valdai Club Video at youtube.com

(Kremlin.ru – December 2, 2013) QUESTION: Good evening, I realise that we are now in the capital of a brotherly republic, in Yerevan, one of my favourite cities, but I would like to ask a question about another capital that I like equally, about Kiev. Just recently there has been alarming news from there, and even calls for revolution. Accordingly, […]

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By Dashing Their Hopes, Yanukovich has United Ukrainians, Krylov Says

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 2, 2013) By his actions over the past two weeks, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has done something many in Ukraine thought impossible and many in Russia feared: he has given Ukraine a national idea and united Ukrainians of all nationalities behind it and against himself, according to a Russian nationalist theorist […]

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Ukraine does a U-turn on Europe

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – December 2, 2013) Yanukovych declines a deal with the EU as economic realities hit home. President Viktor Yanukovych’s last-minute rejection of a planned Association Agreement with the European Union was unexpected and shocking for most of Ukraine’s public, who are imbued with the idea of European integration. […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia’s Successes, A Likely Trap?

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – December 2, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal ­ the most authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments. One can only marvel at how quickly things change. Just a short while ago, Russia seemed to be retreating on all diplomatic fronts. An attack on […]

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Interfax: Events in Kyiv are not revolution but plot against premier Azarov – analyst Pavlovsky

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW. Dec 2 (Interfax) – The protests in Kyiv don’t look like an orange revolution but could constitute the implementation of a scenario of some Ukrainian leadership figures interested in ousting Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and changing the configuration of power in Ukraine, President of the Effective Politics Foundation Gleb Pavlovsky thinks. “On the one hand, most of the participants […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine Vows to Speed Up EU Integration, Wants ‘Equal Partnership’

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KIEV, December 1 (RIA Novosti) ­ Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said Sunday his country will continue efforts towards European integration but insisted that Kiev should be accepted as an equal partner. “I will do everything possible to advance the process of Ukraine’s rapprochement with the European Union, but without any serious losses for this country’s economy or deterioration of the […]

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Russia Offers Ukraine Cheaper Gas to Join Moscow-Led Group

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Irina Reznik & Henry Meyer – December 2, 2013) Russia will offer cheaper natural gas to Ukraine if the government in Kiev opts to join a Moscow-led economic bloc after halting free-trade talks with the European Union, according to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. Ukraine’s economic difficulties will be best resolved if it chooses integration […]

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EU deal remains Ukraine’s priority, but more time needed – president

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(Interfax – November 29, 2013) The signing of an association agreement with the EU remains Ukraine’s priority, President Viktor Yanukovych has said. The Interfax-Ukraine news agency quoted him at 1122 gmt on 29 November as telling its correspondent following the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius: “This document is a priority. However, there remain very many important conditions needed for […]

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RIA Novosti: US White House to Consider Sanctions Against Yanukovych

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti) ­ The US government will have to consider sanctions against Ukraine’s leadership after a petition to the cause gathered 100,000 signatures on White House’s website. The petition asks to ban US and EU entry for and freeze assets of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and members of the his government, as well as their families. The […]

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Interfax: Duma Chairman Naryshkin: West applied unprecedented pressure on Ukraine to sign EU deal

Russian Duma Building

KAZAN. Nov 29 (Interfax) – State Duma Chairman Sergei Naryshkin claims the West applied strong pressure on Ukraine to sign an association agreement with the European Union. “We all have witnessed unprecedented pressure on Ukraine on the part of Western countries and institutions: highest-ranking European bureaucrats in fact regularly attended not only Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada sessions but also sessions of […]

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Moscow Times: Economic Logic Pushed Ukraine to Russia

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – November 29, 2013) For Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, it was not pressure from Russia that provoked Ukraine’s flip-flop on the association deal with the European Union. Azarov has said he bowed to the strong sentiment within the country for making up with Moscow, as exports to that key market declined. “I […]

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Interfax: Russia “has nothing to do” with Ukraine’s U-turn on Europe – Putin’s spokesman

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(Interfax – Sochi, November 27, 2013) Whether or not Ukraine signs an association agreement with the EU is an internal matter to be addressed exclusively by Kiev, the Russian president’s press secretary, Dmitriy Peskov, said on Wednesday [27 November]. At the request of journalists, he was commenting on remarks by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who had said that during his […]

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Interfax: Ukrainian public split over EU/Customs Union options – poll

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KYIV. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Ukraine is split practically 50/50 over the accession to the European Union or the Customs Union. Europe is favored by 39% of Ukrainians, and 37% prefer the Customs Union, said the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. Some 76% of the Ukrainians polled in the middle of this November said they were ready to take part […]

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Yanukovych: Ukrainian economy needs at least $20 billion a year to shift to European standards

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KYIV. Nov 27 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian economy needs at least $20 billion a year in order to shift to European standards, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said. “In all, approximately $160 billion are needed in the period until 2017,” the presidential press service quoted Yanukovych as telling Ukrainian television channels on Tuesday evening. “This [association agreement] does not mean Ukraine’s […]

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Ukraine Offers New Deadline for EU Deal

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – November 27, 2013) President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday told EU officials to refrain from strong language over Ukraine’s decision last week to freeze preparations for a trade agreement with Europe in favor of tighter ties with Russia. Russia and Ukraine are part of a free-trade zone, Putin said, and the lowering of […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian pundits expect Ukrainian pro-EU protests rallies to fizzle out

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(RIA Novosti – November 25, 2013) The pro-EU protests in Ukraine will not bring about any serious political changes and are likely to fizzle out over time, according to analysts questioned by state-owned news agency RIA Novosti on 25 November. Pavlovskiy The level of protest of the supporters of Ukraine’s European integration is not high enough for one to talk […]

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MEDIA TELECONFERENCE EVENT: Ground Truth Briefing: Ukraine and Europe [Monday, December 2; RSVP requested]

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Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 From: Wilson Center <wwics@wilsoncenter.org> Subject: Ground Truth Briefing: Ukraine and Europe Ukraine and Europe: A Turning Point? Dear Media Professional, Despite months of intense wrangling between Kyiv and EU capitals, it is now highly unlikely that Ukraine will sign the EU association agreement during the November 28-29 European Union Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius. Moldova […]

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EVENT: The EU’s Eastern Partnership: A Post-Vilnius Assessment [Tuesday, December 3 in Washington, D.C., RSVP required]

Woodrow Wilson Center Facade file photo

From: Joseph Dresen <Joseph.Dresen@wilsoncenter.org> Subject: Reminder: Wilson Center event invitation: “The EU’s Eastern Partnership: A Post-Vilnius Assessment” Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 “The EU’s Eastern Partnership: A Post-Vilnius Assessment” The Kennan Institute and the Wilson Center’s Global Europe Program are pleased to invite you to a panel discussion with top experts and officials to analyze the results of the third […]

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Yanukovych to Explain U-Turn on EU as Premier Denies Russia Deal

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska – November 26, 2013) Ukraine’s president vowed to explain his snub of a European Union trade pact as Prime Minister Mykola Azarov denied a financing package had been completed with Russia, which opposed the accord. Viktor Yanukovych, who hasn’t spoken publicly since Ukraine decided last week to abandon plans to sign an EU association […]

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Interfax: Economic problems worst issue in Ukraine’s EU drive – Yanukovych

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

KYIV. Nov 25 (Interfax) – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said economic problems are the most difficult issues in Ukraine’s European integration. “We have passed a long way and we have yet to go a long distance. Economic problems have been the most difficult issues on this road,” he said in an appeal to the nation, posted on his website. “But […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine-EU Association Deal Still In View – Foreign Minister

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KIEV, November 26 (RIA Novosti) ­ Ukraine has not abandoned plans to sign a landmark trade deal with the European Union, the country’s top diplomat said Monday. “Ukraine is not rejecting the agreement on association [with the EU], we are simply talking about suspension of its signing,” Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara told reporters in the capital, Kiev. “Neither Ukraine nor […]

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Ukraine’s president tries to calm tensions as clashes continue

Map of Ukraine and Environs and Ukrainian Flags

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 26, 2013) Huge pro-European crowds were out on the streets across Ukraine for a second night running on November 25, resulting in more clashes with riot police, who struggled to keep order. Seeking to diffuse some of the popular anger against his government’s decision to freeze talks with the EU about an association […]

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Interfax: Premier explains suspension of association agreement signing by economic situation in Ukraine

Map of Ukraine and Environs and Ukrainian Flags

KYIV. Nov 22 (Interfax) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said that the government’s decision to suspend preparations for the signing of an association agreement with the European Union is tactical and stems from the current economic situation in the country. “The decision to suspend the signing of the association agreement with the EU was difficult, but it is […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine Hopes Russia Reviews Gas Contract ­ PM – Azarov

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

KIEV, November 24 (RIA Novosti) ­ Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Sunday his country had secured Moscow’s pledge to review a gas contract Kiev believes to be unfavorable. “We have been persistently trying to persuade the Russian Federation to review the contract,” Azarov told Ukrainian TV channel ICTV. “Now, generally speaking, there is such a pledge, and we hope […]

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Ukraine halts EU trade talks, asks for three-way meeting with Russia

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 22, 2013) Ukraine shocked European officials on November 21 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych announced he was freezing negotiations with the EU and called for a three-way summit that includes Russia. Tensions have been rising ahead of an EU summit due to be held in Vilnius on November 28-19 at which Kyiv is […]

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Interfax: Russia not against Ukraine’s association with EU, would object to NATO membership – Putin

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW. Nov 21 (Interfax) – Russia is not against Ukraine becoming an associated EU member, but it would object if Ukraine decided to join NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “We are not against Ukraine’s sovereign choice, whatever it is. We are talking about something absolutely different. If we heard that Ukraine joins NATO, then we would really be against […]

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NEWSLINK: Ukraine drops plan to go West, turns East

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[Ukraine drops plan to go West, turns East – Reuters – Richard Balmforth and Pavel Polityuk – November 21, 2013 – reuters.com/article/2013/11/21/us-ukraine-eu-idUSBRE9AK0S220131121] Reuters reports on Ukraine’s sudden shift from a pending deal with the European Union back towards Russia: Ukraine’s government announced it was suspending preparations for a landmark trade pact with the European Union … [saying] it would renew […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine Ditches Plans for EU Deal, Turns to Russia

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KIEV, November 21 (RIA Novosti) ­ Ukraine’s government decided Thursday to call off the planned signing of landmark agreements with the EU that could have weakened the former Soviet nation’s bonds with Russia. The Cabinet said in a decree that the decision was motivated by the need to consolidate economic ties with Russia and members of the Kremlin-led Customs Union […]

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Interfax: Association with EU may limit Ukrainian cooperation capacities – Moscow

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MOSCOW. Nov 20 (Interfax) – Association with the European Union will significantly limit Ukrainian capacities for cooperation with Customs Union member states, in the opinion of the Russian Foreign Ministry. “Liberalization of trade with EU member countries will tie up Kyiv with commitments to the European Union and EU directives for a long time but it will not be able […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia and Ukraine Reach ‘Compromise’ Gas Payment Deal – Kiev

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

MOSCOW, November 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia and Ukraine have reached a compromise deal allowing Kiev to alter its payment schedule for Russian natural gas imports, Ukrainian Energy Minister Eduard Stavytsky said Monday. The new agreement will allow Kiev to pay on time for energy deliveries, honoring its commitments to both Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom and European consumers, Stavytsky […]

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Ukraine’s Choice: East Or West?

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – November 15, 2013) “Ukraine at the Rubicon.” “Kyiv at a geopolitical crossroads.” “The battle for Ukraine.” The headlines have been dire and the expectations high as the clock ticks down to the European Union’s Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius at the end of this month. With less than two weeks to go, the […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine Resumes Gas Purchases From Russia – Gazprom

Russian Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW, November 15 (RIA Novosti) ­ Ukrainian national fuel company Naftogaz has resumed natural gas supplies from Russia, the chief executive of Russian energy giant Gazprom said Friday. “Naftogaz has stopped pumping gas out of its underground storage facilities and resumed purchases of Russian gas in accordance with the current contract,” Alexei Miller told reporters. Ukraine had halted Russian gas […]

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Nearly half of Ukrainians favor association with EU – GfK Ukraine

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

KYIV. Nov 12 (Interfax) – Nearly half of Ukrainians – 45% – support the idea of signing an association agreement with the European Union, and only 14% approve of the accession to the Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian Customs Union, GfK Ukraine said on Tuesday in publicizing the findings of a public opinion poll of 1,000 respondents it conducted on October 2-15, 2013. Another […]

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Russian deputy PM paints black picture of Ukraine’s future in EU

Dmitry Rogozin file photo

(Interfax – November 12, 2013) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitriy Rogozin has warned Ukraine that traditional economic ties with Russia will be severed if Ukraine signs an association agreement with the European Union, Russian Interfax news agency reported on 12 November. Rogozin was speaking at Royal Institute of International Affairs (Egmont) in Brussels on the same day. Rogozin said: “You […]

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INTERVIEW: Cadogan looks to help wean Ukraine off Russian gas

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – November 13, 2013) Ukraine is finally trying to break its addiction to Russian gas and Cadogan Petroleum is one of those companies well placed to make that happen. A medium-sized independent oil and gas producer, Cadogan was responsible in 2011 for bringing Italian energy giant Eni into Ukraine to […]

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Interfax: More Russians think Kyiv growing apart from Moscow – poll

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW. Nov 12 (Interfax) – Ukraine is growing apart from Moscow and taking up with the European Union and the United States, Russians told Levada Center. Some 40% of the respondents insisted that the gap between Russia and Ukraine had been widening, Levada Center told Interfax on Tuesday. The opinion has become more pronounced. It was shared by 21% of […]

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Interfax: Ukraine PM: EU no longer says Tymoshenko “as pure as the driven snow”

Map of Ukraine and Environs and Ukrainian Flags

DONETSK, Ukraine. Nov 9 (Interfax) – According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, the European Union initially claimed that his jailed predecessor Yulia Tymoshenko was an innocent victim of political scheming but no longer does so and insists on clemency for her rather than on her acquittal. Azarov puts the EU’s alleged volte-face to the credit of European Parliament monitors […]

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Yanukovych Defends Ukraine EU Trade Pact as Competitiveness Lags

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – James M. Gomez & Kateryna Choursina – November 6, 2013) Ukraine needs a free trade agreement with the European Union to help the eastern European nation kickstart the economy and regain competitiveness on global markets, President Viktor Yanukovych said. “By choosing to get closer to the European Union, we are making a pragmatic choice for optimal […]

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RIA Novosti: Gazprom Says Ukraine Far From Paying Off Gas Debt

Russian Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW, November 5 (RIA Novosti) ­ Ukraine is far from paying off hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom despite several payments, a company spokesman said Tuesday. “We have received several small installments for gas supplies in August, but it’s too early to speak about complete payment of the debt,” spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told […]

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IMF deal in cards as Ukraine said to cave in to demands on gas tariffs

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 4, 2013) Facing down Russian bullying on one side and an economic collapse that could only be months away, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has reportedly caved into long-standing pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on November 4 by saying his government would hike domestic gas tariffs. Ukraine’s hard currency reserves have been […]

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Interfax: Ukraine will have no political weight in association with EU – Kremlin advisor

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KHARKIV. Nov 1 (Interfax) – Ukraine will have no political clout in the association with the European Union, while the Eurasian Economic Union guarantees absolute equality of its members, says Russian presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev. “Our Customs Union is being set up according to the same rules as the European Union,” Glazyev said. “Both they and we work in compliance […]

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Interfax: Ukraine has dramatically reduced amount of gas purchases from Russia – deputy PM

Russian Gas Facility file photo

KYIV. Nov 2 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian government and the national oil and gas provider Naftogaz have basically fulfilled President Viktor Yanukovych’s instruction to significantly reduce the amount of natural gas purchases under a contract that Ukraine concluded with Russia during Yulia Tymoshenko’s premiership in 2009, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Boiko said. “Naftogaz and the government have basically fulfilled the […]

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Ukraine’s Final Declaration of Independence

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal, authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments – November 1, 2013) Over the 22 years of Ukraine’s independence, people have grown used to its endless maneuvering. Ukraine began by proclaiming the goal of European integration, which was common to the logic of Eastern European […]

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Interfax: Medvedev: Ukraine association agreement with EU spells end to ‘exclusive’ Russia relations

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MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has advised Ukraine to look to Brussels to raise standby loans in future. “They constantly turn to us for credits, for example,” Medvedev is quoted by Reuters as saying. “In the end, if they have such advanced relations with Brussels … let them get credits from Brussels,” he said. Russia has […]

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Business New Europe: Tough words from the IMF for Kyiv, but EU getting ready to pay the bill

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 1, 2013) The IMF issued a tough statement yesterday listing all the things that the Ukraine will have to do before it gets access to a new and desperately needed Stand By Agreement. But despite the tough talk, the IMF’s statement was all posturing. The EU and the IMF are in emergency talks, […]

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Medvedev: New influential alliances must be monitored

Dmitry Medvedev file photo

GORKI. Oct 29 (Interfax) – Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has urged the government to analyze the emerging alliances, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the free trade zone between Ukraine and the European Union which, he said, could impact Russia’s economic interests. “While tacking issues related to the World Trade Organization one cannot disregard other processes in the global economy. […]

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Can Ukraine afford a divorce from Russia?

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Fyodor Lukyanov, special to RBTH – October 29, 2013) Fyodor Lukyanov is a political scientist and editor-in-chief of the journal Russia in Global Affairs. Relations between Russia and Ukraine are about to cross the Rubicon. That is how many interpret the Association Agreement Kiev intends to sign next month with Brussels. The deal […]

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A tug-of-war over Ukraine

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Mike Collier in Riga, Ben Aris in Moscow – October 30, 2013) The EU’s summit in Vilnius on November 28-29 has been billed as a “game changer” for relations between the EU and the countries to its east, including Russia. The surprising thing is that for once it is not the Lithuanians themselves who […]

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Business New Europe: No more “Mr Nice Guy”: Gazprom hits Ukraine with huge $1 billion gas bill

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – October 30, 2013) In an intensifying fight between Russia and Ukraine, the gloves came off on October 29 when Gazprom hit Ukraine with just short of a $1bn gas bill in retribution for Kyiv’s decision to turn its back on the Russian-led Customs Union and throw in its lot with the EU with the […]

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Putin Has Last Crack at Yanukovych’s EU Dream

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 25, 2013) Turkey is interested in joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and India also wants closer ties with the organization, President Vladimir Putin said at the EurAsian Economic Community summit in Minsk on Thursday. But some political analysts saw the summit in Minsk, which for the first […]

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