News / Europe

Protests Continue in Ukraine Against Refusal to Sign EU Deal

Lawmaker and chairman of the Ukrainian opposition party Udar (Punch), Vitaly Klitschko, centre left, walks with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, centre, and Oleg Tyagnibok, centre right, as they could not get entry into a government building, Nov. 27, 2013.
Lawmaker and chairman of the Ukrainian opposition party Udar (Punch), Vitaly Klitschko, centre left, walks with Arseniy Yatsenyuk, centre, and Oleg Tyagnibok, centre right, as they could not get entry into a government building, Nov. 27, 2013.
VOA News
Ukrainians on Wednesday kept up their nearly week-long protest against the government's decision not to sign a landmark trade deal with the EU in favor of increasing ties with Russia.

About 5,000 people gathered on Independence Square in Kyiv.  Some signed their names on a huge cloth banner to be delivered to President Viktor Yanukovych urging Ukraine to enter into the trade agreement with the EU.

Earlier Wednesday, at least 1,000 protesters gathered outside a government building in Kyiv.

Three opposition leaders participating in the protests failed to gain entry to the Cabinet of Ministers building while a meeting was taking place there.

Vitaly Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tyagnibok had hoped to meet with the ministers to ask them to reconsider their decision and sign the pact with the EU as originally planned.

Ukraine's signing of the trade deal was to take place at a two-day EU summit that begins Thursday in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.

Yanukovych is still planning to attend the summit to discuss the possibility of three-way talks with Russia and the EU on Ukraine's economy.

EU leaders have accused Russia of exerting political and economic pressure on Ukraine to delay the signing of the political and trade agreement.  Russia denies doing so.

The Ukrainian government's decision last week not to sign the deal has sparked a wave of protests by pro-EU demonstrators.
 
Tens of thousands of pro-Europe demonstrators swarmed Kyiv last Sunday in one of the largest protests since the Orange Revolution nine years ago.

Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has started a hunger strike, hoping to force the Ukrainian government to sign the trade agreement.  

Part of the EU pact requires legislation freeing the former prime minister.  Tymoshenko, one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution, was jailed in 2011 and is serving a seven-year prison term on charges of abuse of office.  The EU has called her trial politically motivated.

  • Police stand guard in front of protesters during a demonstration in support of EU integration at Independence Square in Kyiv, Nov. 29, 2013.
  • Police stand guard in front of protesters during a demonstration in support of EU integration at Independence Square in Kyiv Nov. 29, 2013.
  • A view of a rally in support of integration with the European Union, as a supporter waves a European flag from a building top in Kyiv, Nov. 29, 2013.
  • Students form a human chain from the Ukrainian capital to the western border during a demonstration in support of EU integration at Independence Square in Kyiv, Nov. 29, 2013.
  • People warm themselves by a fire in a steel drum during a rally in support of Ukraine's integration with the European Union in Kyiv, Nov. 28, 2013.
  • Ukrainian Opposition Party protesters hold posters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in front of the Cabinet of Ministers in Kyiv, Nov. 27, 2013.
  • Vitali Klitschko, WBC heavyweight boxing champion and chairman of the Ukrainian opposition party Udar, raises his arms as he and another opposition leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, try to gain entry to the Cabinet of Ministers in Kyiv, Nov. 27, 2013.
  • People warm themselves at fires made in steel drums after a meeting to support EU integration at European Square in Kyiv, Nov. 26, 2013.
  • Protesters demand Ukraine sign a trade deal with the European Union, European Square, Kyiv, Nov. 26, 2013. (Henry Ridgwell for VOA)
  • Protesters wear gas masks during a demonstration to support EU integration in Kyiv, Nov. 25, 2013.
  • Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to support EU integration in Kyiv, Nov. 25, 2013.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid