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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

Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russia’s most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkin’s, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontov’s short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library System’s website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Club’s weekly meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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