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Ukraine Goes West in 2 New Deals

Published: March 24, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • The ceremony signing the laws on admitting Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation.
    Photo: Kremlin.ru

BRUSSELS — The European Union pulled Ukraine closer into its orbit on Friday as Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk signed a long-awaited political association agreement.

Around the same time that President Vladimir Putin was in the Kremlin signing parliament bills to incorporate the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea into Russia, EU leaders sought to pull the rest of Ukraine westward by signing the agreement in a ceremony in Brussels.

This is a highly symbolic piece of paper — part of the very same EU deal that touched off Ukraine's political crisis when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected it in November, igniting months of protests that eventually drove him from power.

Yatsenyuk said this deal, and further sanctions against Russia, are necessary to ensure peace.

"Russia decided to actually impose a new post-Cold War order and revise the results of the World War II," Yatsenyuk said in Brussels. "The best way to contain Russia is to impose real economic leverage over them."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed the EU pact, saying the current Ukrainian leadership lacks popular support and should have held elections before making such a decision.

Amid its political crisis, Ukraine is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, struggling to pay off billions of dollars in debts in the coming months. The U.S. and the EU have pledged to quickly offer a bailout.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during today’s Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the center’s Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonight’s performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Center’s Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodina’s website for more details.



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