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Russia Rebukes Germany for Participating in Kyiv Protest

  • VOA News

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gives an interview to federal TV channels at the Ostankino TV Center In Moscow, Dec. 6, 2013.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gives an interview to federal TV channels at the Ostankino TV Center In Moscow, Dec. 6, 2013.

Russia's prime minister has admonished foreign politicians who have participated in the political events unfolding in Ukraine.

Dmitry Medvedev said Friday that foreign politicians who participated in the pro-European Union demonstrations in Kyiv were acting inappropriately. He said he considered their actions as "interference in internal affairs."

Medvedev's remarks were in reference to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle's appearance at a pro-EU rally in Kyiv earlier in the week.

Thousands of demonstrators are protesting in the Ukrainian capital, where Western diplomats have gathered for an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting.

Demonstrators have been calling for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, after he backed out of a trade deal with the European Union.


The protests erupted last week, after the Yanukovych government refused to sign the EU trade deal, announcing instead that it would seek to preserve and strengthen its economic lifeline with Moscow.

On Thursday, several Western officials attending the OSCE meeting challenged the Ukrainian government to consider the protesters' concerns.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said his government was "ready for dialogue" with the protesters.

Three former Ukrainian heads of state have endorsed the anti-government protests.

Russia -- Ukraine's largest foreign investor, trading partner and chief natural gas supplier -- has in recent months exerted strong economic pressure on cash-strapped Kyiv aimed at derailing the EU deal.

Earlier this year, Moscow imposed restrictions on goods from Ukraine, forcing a 25 percent drop in Ukrainian exports and dragging the Ukrainian economy into recession.
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