Yanukovych’s “family business” links him to Russia

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.ru – January 28, 2014) The pro-Russian leanings of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his associates have triggered a national crisis following November’s shocking decision to back out of signing a deal that would have brought the country closer to the EU. Yet the Kremlin’s hold over Yanukovych may not be restricted to the international power […]

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Perspectives on the Ukrainian Protests

Maidan Square file photo

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – January 28, 2014) A few months ago, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was expected to sign some agreements that could eventually integrate Ukraine with the European Union economically. Ultimately, Yanukovich refused to sign the agreements, a decision thousands of his countrymen immediately protested. The demonstrations later evolved, as they often do. Protesters started calling for political […]

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Top Russian diplomat says current violence in Ukraine “unacceptable”

Maidan Square file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, January 27, 2014) Actions of Ukrainian “fighters for human rights”, who are throwing Molotov cocktails at representatives of the authorities and beating up other citizens, are unacceptable and should receive a corresponding assessment of international organizations, Russian Foreign Ministry’s ombudsman for human rights, democracy and rule of law Konstantin Dolgov has said. “To fight for human rights […]

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Ukraine Unrest Spreading to Russia? Unlikely

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – January 28, 2014) With violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement in Ukraine showing few signs of diminishing, pro-Kremlin commentators and lawmakers in Russia have issued dramatic warnings about the possibility of unrest spreading across the border. Prominent journalist and television personality Vladimir Solovyov said the clashes in Kiev could inspire terrorists […]

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Ukraine has Revolutionary Masses But No Leaders But in Russia the Situation is Just the Reverse, Pastukhov Says

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 27, 2014) The events of the last few weeks confirm that in Ukraine, there is a revolutionary population but almost no revolutionary leaders while in Russia, “an excess of revolutionary leaders is compensated by almost the complete lack of a revolutionary population,” according to Vladimir Pastukhov. The St. Antony’s scholar says […]

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RIA Novosti: Two-Fifths of Russians Uncertain Over Need for Ukraine Loan

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RIA Novosti – January 27, 2014) Around two-fifths of Russians have no idea why their government has committed to lending crisis-hit Ukraine $15 billion in taxpayer money, a survey has revealed. The loan announced in a surprise move late last year was designed to steer debt-strapped Ukraine through a potentially devastating looming balance of payments of crisis. As part of […]

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The Artistic Community Responds to Events in Kiev

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – January 27, 2014) When the going gets tough, as we have seen repeatedly in recent years, the tough take to Facebook. At least that’s what they do in this part of the world. So it has been with the events in Kiev – call them protests or call them a revolution in […]

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Economist editor claims Putin told Yanukovych to “dip hands in blood”

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – January 24, 2014) Celebrate Economist editor Edward Lucas made one of his more outrageous claims in a paper written for the Central European Policy Institute, alleging that Russian President Vladimir Putin is not only ultimately responsible for the two shooting deaths in Kyiv this week, but somehow ordered’ Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to kill […]

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Government power crumbles in regions and Kyiv

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – January 24, 2014) Ukraine’s embattled president Viktor Yanukovych found himself facing a second front January 23 with anti-government protesters storming regional administrations across West and Central Ukrainian regions. Ironically the development came on a day when a ceasefire was held between protesters and police in Kyiv. While clashes in […]

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Interfax: Russian senators say Kiev lacks political will to solve crisis

Federation Council file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, January 22, 2013) Members of the Federation Council have agreed with the position of their colleagues from the lower chamber [of parliament, State Duma], which adopted a statement on the events in Ukraine on Wednesday [22 January]. “The Federation Council cannot stand aloof from the events in Ukraine and we express solidarity with the stance of the […]

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Interfax: Ukraine not a boxing ring – Party of Regions’ faction

Ukraine Map and Flag

KYIV. Jan 23 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian Party of Regions’ faction sees the opposition actions and initiatives as an attempted coup. “Yet another step by the opposition … is the “establishment” of a so-called people’s Rada and the handover of the national parliament’s legislative functions to it … In the current situation the Party of Regions’ faction is entitled to […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Crisis in Ukraine: A catalyst for long-overdue change?

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth..ru – Stanislav Tkachenko, special to RBTH – January 23, 2014) Russia and Ukraine’s future prosperity lies in developing European-style democracies. Integrating Ukraine’s economy may create a window for reform Stanislav Tkachenko is an associate professor of International Relations at St. Petersburg State University. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich set off a fresh crisis in his […]

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Euromaidan and use of force

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan, Editor – January 22, 2014) Is there a double standard in how the West responds to violence in Ukraine? Or is the issue more complicated? The United States has threatened possible sanctions against Ukrainian authorities after new violence erupted Sunday on Kiev’s streets, where anti-government demonstrators set a police bus on fire and […]

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Interfax: Duma urges West not to meddle in situation in Ukraine so as not to worsen crisis – statement

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW. Jan 22 (Interfax) – The Russian State Duma has called on the West not to worsen the situation in Ukraine through interfering in its internal affairs and urged the Ukrainian opposition to start a dialogue with the government. “The State Duma is calling on Western political circles, which are interfering in the sovereign Ukraine’s internal affairs in violation of […]

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Clash of principles will escalate violence and lead to deaths, despotism

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe KYIV BLOG – bne.eu – January 21, 2014) Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych doesn’t concede the right of the protestors on Maidan to demonstrate. The protestors on Maidan don’t concede that Yanukovych is their democratically elected leader, voted in by the people in 2010. This clash has led directly to the escalating violence in Kyiv. The opposition leaders […]

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Interfax: Russians aware of loan to Ukraine, say it can preserve friendship – poll

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Interfax – January 22, 2014) An overwhelming majority of Russians (76 percent) know about Moscow’s decision to give a loan to Ukraine and to cut natural gas prices, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said referring to a January poll held in 42 regions. Most respondents explained the decisions of Moscow with the wish to preserve friendship with Kyiv […]

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Riots sweep Ukraine capital as frustrations boil over

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – January 20, 2014) Months of frustration in the opposition protests against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych boiled over as a leaderless mob fought police and took control of the streets. Tens of thousands of protestors rallied in Independence Square on January 19 in defiance of a set of anti-protest laws that the administration rammed through […]

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RIA Novosti: US Condemns Ukraine’s Anti-Protest Laws as ‘Undemocratic’

Maidan Square file photo

MOSCOW, January 17 (RIA Novosti) ­ The United States on Thursday condemned the parliament of Ukraine’s decision to pass wide-ranging laws severely restricting the right to protest as undemocratic. The measures were stiffly resisted by outraged opposition deputies in a testy, and sometimes violent, session in the Rada, but were nonetheless pushed through by the ruling pro-presidential Party of Regions. […]

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Ukraine democracy seen under threat as Rada passes “dictatorship bill”

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – January 17, 2014) With a show of hands that took less than five seconds to count, the deputies of Ukraine’s Rada passed into law a package of bills on January 16 that has already been dubbed the “dictatorship bill”. Scuffles broke out on the Rada floor and punches were […]

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Moscow has Lost Ukraine, Gromov Advisor Says

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 14, 2014) Despite Vladimir Putin’s success in getting Kyiv not to sign a European Union association agreement and constant Russian media claims that the Euro-Maidan is about to collapse, Ivan Nikashin says, “the Kremlin has lost Ukraine” this time around in because of problems having to do with the still-Soviet nature […]

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Controversial Year for Ukraine: President Yanukovych Makes U-turn to Avoid Default

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 3 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Oleg Varfolomeyev – January 8, 2014) Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych made a sensational U-turn last year, choosing Russian economic assistance over an association and free-trade deal with the European Union. The decision, which triggered the most massive anti-government protests since 2004, was dictated by a dismal state […]

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RIA Novosti: U.S. Senate Backs Sanctions Over Ukraine Violence

Maidan Square file photo

WASHINGTON, January 8 (RIA Novosti) ­ The US Senate has called for possible sanctions against individuals responsible for state violence against Ukrainian demonstrators protesting Kiev’s decision to abandon long-awaited trade and political deals with the European Union. “In the event of further state violence against peaceful protestors, the President and Congress should consider whether to apply targeted sanctions, including visa […]

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Russia at home and abroad: past successes, future challenges

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(opendemocracy.net – Margot Light – January 5, 2014) Margot Light is Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the Department of International Relations of the London School of Economics and Political Science. 2013 produced several foreign policy successes for President Putin, increasing Russia’s prominence on the international stage. At home, the Volgograd suicide attacks brought the year to a sad and […]

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The Kremlin’s Euromaidan Calculus

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – January 6, 2014) In December, after a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, Moscow announced that it would give Kiev a $15 billion bailout and slash the gas price by one-third as a reward for Yanukovych’s rejection of an association agreement with the European Union. Donald N. Jensen, […]

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Interfax: Azarov: full-fledged partnership with Russia prevents worst-case economic scenario

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

KYIV. Dec 31 (Interfax) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Rybak have congratulated fellow citizens with the New Year and Christmas. The prime minister recalled the main socioeconomic and political events of the outgoing year and said that the year was complicated but certain achievements were still made. “We averted devaluation of the national currency […]

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Half of Ukrainians do not support protests in Kyiv – poll

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. Dec 30 (Interfax) – Half of Ukrainians – 50% – do not support the ongoing protests for Ukraine’s integration with Europe at Independence Square in Kyiv (known as Euro-Maidan), as is evident from a poll of 2,079 respondents that Research & Branding Group conducted in 24 regions of Ukraine, Crimea, Kyiv, and Sevastopol on December 23-27. Another 45% support […]

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RIA Novosti: Lenin Statue Toppled, Reinstated in Ukraine

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

KIEV, December 30 (RIA Novosti) ­ A statue to Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin was toppled in the central Ukrainian town of Vatutino on Sunday night only to be put back in place several hours later, the UNIAN news agency reported Monday. “A group of unidentified persons detached the monument from the pedestal and toppled it. But it turned out […]

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Putin Tells Ukraine Leader He Expects Progress in Ties

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer – December 31, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Ukrainian counterpart, Viktor Yanukovych, that he’s counting on further strengthening ties. In a New Year’s greeting, Putin thanked Yanukovych for “comradely, businesslike” relations that allowed the two former Soviet neighbors to develop a partnership benefiting “brotherly peoples.” The coming year should provide an opportunity […]

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Interfax: Half of Ukrainians see political situation as explosive – poll

Maidan Square file photo

KYIV. Dec 26 (Interfax) – Only about 2% of Ukrainians view the current political situation in the country as stable and nearly half as explosive, the Socis Sociological and Marketing Research Center and the Rating sociological group have found after polling 3,200 respondents older than 18 in all regions of Ukraine on December 7-17, 2013. The poll’s margin of error […]

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Ukraine re-examining European integration course, but continues work on it – Yanukovych

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

KYIV. Dec 26 (Interfax) – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych expects the government and the parliament to work together effectively on the negotiations on the preparations for signing an association agreement with the European Union. “I expect the government and parliamentarians to work together closely on the negotiations and work on this agreement, which should be profitable to Ukraine and be […]

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Interfax: Ukraine’s association with EU doesn’t contradict observer status in Customs Union – Kremlin

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s association with the European Union does not contradict their observer status in the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said. “No, there is no contradiction,” Ushakov told a briefing on Monday, responding to a question from Interfax as to whether Ukraine can simultaneously be an observer in the […]

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RIA Novosti: Over Half of Ukrainians Want Cabinet of Ministers to Resign – ­ Poll

Maidan Square file photo

KIEV, December 26 (RIA Novosti) ­ As protests in Ukraine enter their second month, more than half of Ukrainians want the country’s cabinet of ministers to resign, according to an opinion poll released on Wednesday. Mass protests in downtown Kiev have been ongoing since Kiev stunned Europe on November 21 by announcing that it would indefinitely postpone the signing of […]

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Interfax: Ukraine to resume association agreement talks with EU in early 2014 – foreign minister

EU Map

KYIV. Dec 25 (Interfax) – Ukraine will resume negotiations with the European Union on signing an association agreement after the New Year’s holidays, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara said. “Two rounds of the negotiations have already taken place in Brussels. As you know, the Christmas and New Year’s political holidays begin in Europe today, and Ukraine will resume the negotiations […]

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Interfax: Superiority complex lets down EU in its relations with Ukraine – Pushkov

Alexei Pushkov file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax) – The European Union did not have enough strength and willingness to help Ukraine recover from an economic crisis and to convince Kyiv to sign the association agreement, State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov said. “Why did the EU set such unattractive conditions for signing the association agreement for Ukraine and make political demands […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian ex-finance minister sceptical about aid to Ukraine, other issues

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RIA Novosti – December 23, 2013) Russia’s former Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Aleksey Kudrin has expressed concern that Ukraine may spend the funds provided by Russia only to cover its day-do-day expenses, in which case Kyiv will need more economic assistance in two years’ time. Kudrin was speaking at his end-of-year news conference at Russian state news agency […]

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Specter of Soviet Union Haunts Ukraine at Protests

File Photo of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Oleg Sukhov – KIEV ­ December 25, 2013) As street protests in Kiev over President Viktor Yanukovych’s U-turn on a planned deal with the European Union appear to be waning after several weeks of fervor, one sentiment voiced by pro-EU demonstrators is still ringing in analysts’ ears: “The Soviet Union did not fall in 1991; […]

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Interfax: Russian foreign minister on Ukraine’s place in Europe and Eurasia

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, December 21, 2013) Russia would like to see Ukraine participating in Eurasian integrational processes and the agreements between Russia and Ukraine of 17 December confirm a shared desire for constructive work, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “Eurasian integrational structures are open to other partners in the CIS as well. Of course, we would like to […]

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Ukraine: What’s behind the protests

Map of Ukraine and Ukrainian Flag

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Katerina Ryzhakova, special to RBTH – December 23, 2013) In the battle between east and west, Ukrainians need to closely examine what they really want. The Polish film director Krzysztof Kieslowski explained it this way: “The television industry doesn’t like to see the complexity of the world. It prefers simple reporting, with simple […]

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Ukraine Opposition Starts Movement to Sustain Protest Spirit

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Daryna Krasnolutska and Kateryna Choursina – December 23, 2013) Ukraine’s opposition invited anti-government protesters to join a new political movement as it seeks to keep pressure on President Viktor Yanukovych for choosing $15 billion of Russian aid over a European accord. The Maidan movement, which takes its name from the Ukrainian word for a central public […]

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Ukraine Opposition Skeptical of Yanukovych Roundtable Offer

Maidan Square file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Daryna Krasnolutska and Kateryna Choursina – December 20, 2013) Ukraine’s opposition, determined to keep mass demonstrations alive in Kiev, were skeptical of President Viktor Yanukovych’s offer of a roundtable meeting to settle the month-long political crisis. The meeting, first brought up by Yanukovych yesterday, will start at 3 p.m. today in Kiev, according to […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian pundits differ on Putin-Yanukovych deal

Ukraine Map and Flag

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, December 18, 2013) Political experts polled by RIA Novosti see some benefits for Russia in the agreements it has signed with Ukraine but think the benefits are insufficient and expect response measures from Kyiv. A session of the Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission took place in Moscow on Tuesday [17 December], chaired by the presidents of Russia and […]

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Interfax: Kyiv-Moscow understandings won’t hinder Association Agreement Brussels is ready to sign – Ashton

EU Map

BRUSSELS. Dec 19 (Interfax) – High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, European Commission Vice President Catherine Ashton believes that the understandings between Ukraine and Russia reached in Moscow won’t hinder Kyiv’s further advancement along the road of European integration. At an extraordinary session of the European Parliament committee on foreign affairs in Brussels on Wednesday […]

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Interfax: Russia’s $15 billion loan for Ukraine may be secured by Ukrainian strategic facilities – Klitschko

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

KYIV. Dec 18 (Interfax) – A Ukrainian opposition leader is concerned that President Viktor Yanukovych might have agreed with Russia on a $15-billion loan secured by Ukrainian strategic facilities. “According to some well-informed sources, a loan agreement for $15 billion secured by Ukrainian property has been signed,” opposition UDAR party leader Vitali Klitschko said at a demonstration on Tuesday. He […]

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VIDEO: U.S. Ambassador McFaul Says No Boycott Of Sochi Olympics, Addresses U.S.-Russian Relations, Ukraine, Adoptions, other issues

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

Ambassador Michael McFaul, U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation, addresses U.S.-Russian Relations, Ukraine, the Sochi Olympics, adoptions and other matters, in this video by RFE/RL’s Russian Service. McFaul is interviewed in Russian, with English subtitles. The video was dated December 17, 2013.

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RIA Novosti: Russia Condemns Pressure on Ukraine to Turn Towards Europe

EU Map

MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia is surprised by blatant attempts to pressure Ukraine into signing an association agreement with the European Union, Russia’s foreign minister said Wednesday. Sergei Lavrov said that pressure was continuing despite Kiev’s clear choice to develop closer ties with Moscow. He spoke a day after President Vladimir Putin agreed to cut the price of […]

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Interfax: SUMMARY: Gazprom slashes gas price for Ukraine by third, looks at new model of relations

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – Russia’s Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) and Naftogaz Ukraine, in the presence of the two countries’ presidents on Tuesday, signed addenda to January 19, 2009 contracts on the purchase-sale, delivery and transshipment of natural gas for 2009-2019. Discount President Vladimir Putin said after the signing that the documents would enable Gazprom to supply gas to Ukraine at […]

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RIA Novosti: Gazprom Could Lose Billions Over Ukraine Gas Deal – Analyst

Russian Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s deal to provide Ukraine with cheaper gas may mean billions of dollars in lost profits, an investment analyst told a business newspaper in remarks published Wednesday. President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would slash the price of its gas to Ukraine by one-third on Tuesday, down to $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters from […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin Meeting with President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych

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

(Kremlin.ru – December 17, 2013) Vladimir Putin met with President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in the Kremlin. The meeting between the two heads of state was held prior to the session of the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Mr Yanukovych, It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Moscow. This is a regular meeting scheduled to […]

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TRANSCRIPT: Putin speech at a meeting of the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Kremlin.ru – December 17, 2013) PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Mr Yanukovych, colleagues, I have just had a very detailed discussion of practically all areas of our cooperation with President Yanukovych. Russia and Ukraine are strategic partners not on paper but in actual practice. We share a centuries-old friendship and the bond of having spent a long time living together […]

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