Staff Writer | November 26, 2013 | 5:07pm EDT

European demonstrators fired tear-gas in protest of Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s decision to reject the European trade pact and the Russians are nervous as well.

Mykola Azarov (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Mykola Azarov (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

UKARAINE (INTELLIHUB) — Mykola Azarov, Ukrainian Prime Minister, said he did not like how the Russians and Europeans were turning the Ukraine into a “battlefield” and has finalized no trade deal with either side remaining neutral thus far in the matter.

Some local press reported that Azarov will likely sign a deal with the E.U. Friday, but nothing is for certain as of yet.

Russian officials are reported to be upset as they want “to bring the Ukraine into a Customs Union with other former Soviet republics”. […] Police clashed with protesters who gathered for a second day in Kiev and speakers urged people to stay on the streets.

However, numbers were smaller than on Sunday, the largest turnout since a pro-democracy “Orange Revolution” nine years ago.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, acting to defuse pressure from the streets, said rejecting the pact had been difficult but unavoidable, implying EU rules were too tough on the fragile economy.

He pledged to create “a society of European standards”.

“My policies on this path always have been, and will continue to be, consistent,” he said in a television address that did not mention relations with Russia or refer to EU pressure to release Tymoshenko, his fiercest opponent.”, according to RTE.ie out of the Ukraine.[1]

On the flip-side, “Russia’s attitude toward Ukraine is encoded in the country’s name — literally, Ukraine means “at the edge” or “borderland.” Most of modern-day Ukraine came under the control of the Russian czars in the 1700s after being part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Except for some territories’ short-lived declarations of independence in the chaotic years following the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Ukraine remained under Moscow’s control until the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

More than two decades on, Russia’s influence remains in the fact that surveys have shown about a third of Ukraine’s citizens speak Russian exclusively or mainly in their family life — when Mykola Azarov became prime minister in 2010, one of his first promises was to work hard to learn”, wrote ABC News.[2]

 

Sources:

[1] Ukrainian PM says no deal finalised with Russia – RTE.ie

[2] A Lot at Stake for Russia in Battle for Ukraine – ABC News

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