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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

Thursday, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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