News / Europe

    Russia: Ukraine Aid Given Out of 'Brotherly Love'

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych, left, react after signing an agreement in Moscow, Dec. 17, 2013.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych, left, react after signing an agreement in Moscow, Dec. 17, 2013.
    VOA News
    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia's providing of a financial bailout for Ukraine was done out of "brotherly love," not for any political gain or to tear Ukraine away from a proposed trade deal with the European Union.

    Putin made the comment during an annual news conference after weeks of political turmoil in Ukraine sparked by President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign a trade pact with the EU.

    On Wednesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said his country's new bailout deal will allow Ukraine to revitalize its economy and avoid collapse. Meanwhile, pro-European Union demonstrations continued in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities.

    According to the terms of the bailout, Putin has promised to reduce the price of natural gas exports to Ukraine by a third and lend the nation $15 billion.

    Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko greeted the news with skepticism Tuesday, telling supporters that Yanukovych had handed over Ukraine's national interests and independence, along with every Ukrainian's prospects for a better life.

    Anti-government protests in Ukraine began a month ago. Analysts consider the current unrest to be Ukraine's biggest political crisis since the Orange Revolution of 2004.

    Klitschko said the Ukrainian people have the right to know what Yanukovych promised the Kremlin in return for the financial assistance, and called for early elections, saying he was personally challenging the Ukrainian president. Klitschko, a heavyweight boxing champion, has announced he is leaving the sport to run for president in 2015.

    In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the deal between Kyiv and Moscow for Russian financial aid will not address the concerns of the tens of thousands of Ukrainians protesting Yanukovych's decision to abandon the agreement with the EU.

    The Ukrainian government, which has sought up to $20 billion in foreign assistance to prop up its struggling economy, has assured the demonstrators that eventually it plans to sign an association agreement with the European Union.

    A poll by Ukraine's non-governmental Research and Branding group released earlier this month showed 46 percent of Ukrainians favoring the EU trade pact, compared with 36 percent favoring a rival trade bloc of former Soviet republics and satellite countries that is being pushed by Moscow.

    You May Like

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Mali, a Way Station for Syrians Headed to Europe

    Another door may be closing for Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, this time in Africa

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: jeffersonchenko from: Ukraine
    December 19, 2013 11:33 AM
    If anything, this clearly identifies Yanukovych's model of government as living in the authoritative, central planning model of the former Soviet Union. However, he has refined that position by injecting positive western rhetoric to his public comments. That seems to placate some western media outlets.
    However, he has overlooked that Ukrainians, all over Ukraine, are now much more informed than he or his top level advisors, ever imagined. Ukrainians are not going to buy into that. Ukrainians want freedom from corruption, a decent judicial system that is not universally corrupt, and a chance to live their lives the way they want.


    Yanukovych said he was "categorically against others coming to our country and teaching us how to live."

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora