Yanukovych backed into corner as EU suspends talks

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – KYIV BLOG – December 16, 2013) Some 100,000 protestors rallied on Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in central Kyiv for the third Sunday in a row this weekend, maintaining the pressure on the increasingly embattled President Viktor Yanukovych. They were treated to a speech by US Senator John McCain and a gig by Ukrainian rock […]

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Interfax: Ukraine chooses European integration – Prime Minister Azarov

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KYIV. Dec 16 (Interfax) – Ukraine has made a final choice in its foreign policy vector – integration with Europe, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said. “As we are told, the door to the European Union is open for us, same as the door of the Customs Union. That is very good, because we have a choice and we will […]

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Ukraine a land of two halves as Euromaidan moves into third week

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – December 16, 2013) As mass anti-government and pro-EU protests move into their third week in Ukraine, vox pop and opinion polls show the continued high motivation of protestors, but also the stubborn resistance of the east-west geographical fault line that shapes Ukrainian politics. December 15 saw another large crowd […]

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Can Ukraine’s Two Nations Stay Under One Roof?

Maidan Square file photo

(Voice of America – James Brooke -December 14, 2013) James Brooke is VOA Moscow bureau chief, covering Russia and the former USSR. KYIV ­ – To understand what is happening in Kyiv today, remember that Ukraine has a larger landmass in Europe than France, the largest nation of the European Union. From East to West, Ukraine is longer than Italy, […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian experts doubt US will impose sanctions on Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(RIA Novosti – December 12, 2013) Russian experts interviewed by the RIA Novosti news agency believe that by speaking about possible sanctions against Ukraine, the USA is trying to make Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych more compliant, the agency reported on 12 December. Spokesperson for the US Department of State Jen Psaki has said that the US authorities are considering possible […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines/RIA Novosti: Moscow willing to negotiate with Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – December 13, 2013 – Nikolay Surkov, RBTH) Putin says there’s room for avoiding a confrontation between the European Union and the Eurasian Union. Seeking to ease tensions and move the discussion on Ukraine in a constructive direction, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Russia is ready to negotiate on any type of customs […]

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Ukraine’s government withdraws riot police from Maidan as protestors dig in for the long haul

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – December 12, 2013) Following the Ukrainian government’s failure to retake Kyiv’s central square Maidan from protestors on the night of December 11, riot police withdrew the next day and demonstrators rebuilt biggest and better barricades using bags of packed snow, corrugated steel and iron bars. There is also clearly some last minute horse trading […]

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RIA Novosti: Russians Support Stronger Ties With Ukraine – Poll

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) ­ Most Russians think that Ukraine would be better off if the two countries formed closer ties, according to a new poll published Tuesday. Just 6 percent believe that Ukraine will gain from forming closer links with the West, while 36 percent are convinced that Russia will suffer harm if its neighbor makes such a […]

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Interfax: Ukrainian opposition says it will not join talks with authorities until its demands are met

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. Dec 12 (Interfax) – Ukrainian opposition members are not going to engage in any dialogue with the authorities until their conditions are met, Svoboda (Freedom) opposition party leader Oleh Tyahnybok said. “There can be no negotiations with these authorities until all of our demands are fulfilled and special operations units are withdrawn from Kyiv,” Tyahnybok said at a press […]

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Euromaidan: Can’t Ukraine and Russia just get along?

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow News – moscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – December 11, 2013) With thousands still protesting in Kiev’s streets after Ukraine suspended plans to sign a trade association agreement with the European Union, beleaguered Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is still mulling whom to side with for closer economic cooperation – Russia or Europe. Here are six things Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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Ukraine’s ‘Euromaidan’ Through The Lens Of Russian Television

File Photo of Russian Television Studio

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –  Claire Bigg – December 9, 2013) Russia’s state-run television channels are not known for their impartiality. Their coverage of the massive pro-European protests that have engulfed Ukraine is no exception, analysts say. Russian state television has been churning out what critics describe as misleading, at times downright odd reports since protests erupted almost two weeks ago […]

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Ukraine’s choices

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – December 9, 2013 – David Marples) David Marples is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. Author of 13 books, he is also President of the North American Association for Belarusian Studies. The current conflict in Ukraine tends to cast the country’s future choices in terms of membership of either the […]

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Tensions spike in Kyiv on fears of government crackdown

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – December 10, 2013) A big day faces Ukraine December 10 as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton holds talks with all sides in an attempt to find “a way out of the political crisis”, while President Viktor Yanukovych will meet his three predecessors – Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko. Tensions spiked in […]

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Russia Backs Off Ukraine Union After Lenin Statue Falls

Monument in Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Kateryna Choursina, Daryna Krasnolutska & Ilya Arkhipov – December 9, 2013) Russia cast doubt that Ukraine may soon join its customs bloc, a plan that have sparked the ex-Soviet republic’s biggest protests in almost a decade and fueled calls for President Viktor Yanukovych to resign. Riot police and stick-wielding protesters squared off in central Kiev a […]

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NEWSLINK: The Stakes in Ukraine: The U.S. should warn Putin not to stoke violence in Kiev.

Monument in Ukraine

[The Stakes in Ukraine: The U.S. should warn Putin not to stoke violence in Kiev. – Wall Street Journal editorial – December 9, 2013 – http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304014504579246330793547224] The Wall Street Journal covers the protests in Ukraine, noting that even with divisions within the country, the majority of Ukrainians want a closer relationship with Europe and a Ukraine with greater democratization: Ukraine […]

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Interfax: Putin, Yanukovych did not discuss Ukraine’s accession to Customs Union – Kremlin spokesman Peskov

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met in Sochi on Friday to discuss the agenda of the bilateral interstate commission, which is to hold a session in Moscow on December 17, and they did not discuss Ukraine’s possible accession to the Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian Customs Union, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Interfax. “Special […]

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Ukraine president stuck for an exit as mass protests continue

Monument in Ukraine

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – December 9, 2013) Hundreds of thousands of pro-EU protestors took to the streets again in Kyiv December 8, filling Kyiv’s central Maidan square to demand the resignation of Ukraine’s government, and erecting barricades sealing off the government district. Not only is the administration of President Viktor Yanukovych losing the […]

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Interfax: Ukraine opposition leaders urge support from West for pro-EU movement

Monument in Ukraine

KYIV. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Ukrainian opposition leaders – Vitali Klitschko of the UDAR party, Arseny Yatsenyuk of Batkivshchyna (Fatherland), and Oleh Tyahnybok of Svoboda (Freedom) – have met with the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, Victoria Nuland. “We call upon the leaders of the European Union and the United States to resolutely condemn violent […]

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Interfax: Ukraine determined to continue efforts toward Euro-integration – Azarov to Westerwelle

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KYIV. Dec 5 (Interfax) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has assured German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle that Ukraine is determined to continue its efforts on the path towards European integration, noting, however, that extremists and neo-Nazis are obstructing this process. Azarov and Westerwelle met during the 20th session of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Kyiv on Thursday, and the […]

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RIA Novosti: Medvedev Denies Russia Pressured Ukraine to Abandon EU Deal

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MOSCOW, December 6 (RIA Novosti) ­ Ukraine decided independently to abandon a long-anticipated trade deal with the European Union, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday, denying that Moscow pressured its neighbor into changing direction. “They realized that at the moment, they’re not ready for this,” he said in a televised interview on Russia’s state TV channel Rossiya 1. “In all […]

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The Bolotnaya Maydan

Monument in Ukraine

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –Brian Whitmore – December 5, 2013) The latest threat to Vladimir Putin’s autocratic rule may be coming not from the Russian opposition but from the Ukrainian street. As tens of thousands continue to protest in Kyiv against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to scuttle a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow, […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine Owes Russia $2 Billion Over Gas, No Deferral Deals Yet – Gazprom

Russian Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti) ­ Ukraine owes Russia some $2 billion for gas supplies and no plan is in place to settle the debt, the head of Russia’s Gazprom said Wednesday. Alexei Miller, chief executive of state-owned Gazprom, said it was in discussions with Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz to find a solution. “We are seeking variants to resolve […]

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Interfax: EU countries’ reaction to Ukraine’s refusal to sign association agreement with EU is “hysteria” – Lavrov

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KYIV. Dec 5 (Interfax) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the Western countries’ reaction to Ukraine’s refusal to sign an association agreement with the EU “hysteria.” “This situation is connected to some Europeans’ hysteria, which was caused by the fact that Ukraine exercised its sovereign right in deciding not to sign an agreement that Ukrainian experts and the […]

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Lavrov Slams NATO Response to Ukraine

NATO Meeting file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Yekaterina Kravtsova – December 5, 2013) BRUSSELS ­ At a meeting with NATO counterparts on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slammed NATO’s response to recent protests in Ukraine and said last month’s deal on Iran’s nuclear program renders the need for missile defense in Europe obsolete. In response to a joint resolution issued by […]

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Interfax: Russia should not interfere in events in Ukraine – United Russia

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – Russia should have tact and not try to give instructions to Ukraine on how to act in the situation of continuing protests in Ukraine, Andrei Klimov, deputy chairman of the Federation Council committee on international affairs and a member of the United Russia General Council presidium, said. “Further development of the situation depends on the […]

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Interfax: Brussels calls on Kyiv to stop playing with figures – EU diplomat

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BRUSSELS. Dec 4 (Interfax) – Brussels calls on Kyiv to stop playing with figures indicating how much money Ukraine needs to accumulate to proceed toward closer integration with Europe; the parties should instead start a constructive dialogue if they want to reach some tangible results on the way toward signing an association agreement, a high-ranking European diplomatic official said in […]

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RIA Novosti: Ukraine, EU Discuss Integration as Protests Continue

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MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) ­ The government of Ukraine said Wednesday that it has agreed on a roadmap for a future association agreement with the EU, which the former Soviet nation decided to delay last month. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Arbuzov met with the EU envoy to Ukraine Jan Tombinsky to agree on a sequence of negotiations needed before […]

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Business New Europe: Spectre of revolution haunts Ukraine

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – December 3, 2013) Ten years on from the Orange Revolution that rolled back a rigged election, Ukraine again appears in the throes of revolution, after mass protests in Kyiv against the government’s failure to sign a deal for closer ties with the EU and ensuing police violence led to […]

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Interfax: Protests in Ukraine to go on, unlikely to result in revolution – Russian experts

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

(Interfax – December 2, 2013) Protests in Kiev do not look like an orange revolution, but they may be the implementation of the scenario of part of the Ukrainian leadership, Gleb Pavlovskiy, president of the Effective Policy Foundation, has said, as reported by privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax on 2 December. Commenting on mass protests staged in Kiev and in […]

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Interfax: Ukraine asks EU to empathize with deferment of pact

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KYIV. Dec 2 (Interfax) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has urged the European Union to empathize with Ukraine’s November 21 decision to suspend preparations for an association agreement with the EU. “I now ask you to take an objective view of this situation, not to accuse us of insincerity but to trust us and make a concession to us,” […]

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Russians Asking Themselves Why They Can’t Act Like Ukrainians

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 3, 2013) Even as Russian commentators blame Vladimir Putin for creating “a revolutionary situation” in Ukraine (ej.ru/?a=note&id=23865), many more Russians are asking themselves why they and their nation have been unable to organize protests the ways that Ukrainians can. To ask that question is to pose two even more important ones […]

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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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