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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

Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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