News / Europe

    Western Diplomats Try to Break Ukraine Political Deadlock

    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (R) takes her seat prior to meeting with Ukrainian opposition leaders, (from L) Oleh Tyahnybok, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and Vitaliy Klitschko in Kyiv Dec. 10, 2013.
    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (R) takes her seat prior to meeting with Ukrainian opposition leaders, (from L) Oleh Tyahnybok, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and Vitaliy Klitschko in Kyiv Dec. 10, 2013.
    VOA News
    As Ukraine’s street protests marked their third week, U.S. and EU officials arrived here Tuesday to try to break the deadlock with diplomacy.
     
    U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland met with the three main leaders of the opposition. At the same time, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met with President Viktor Yanukovych. Later, she visited the protest camp and met with opposition leaders as well.
     
    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called Ukraine’s president on Monday night and urged a peaceful solution.
     
    Minor gestures
     
    Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych (L) shakes hands with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton during their meeting in Kyiv Dec. 10, 2013.Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych (L) shakes hands with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton during their meeting in Kyiv Dec. 10, 2013.
    x
    Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych (L) shakes hands with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton during their meeting in Kyiv Dec. 10, 2013.
    Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych (L) shakes hands with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton during their meeting in Kyiv Dec. 10, 2013.
    Yanukovych Tuesday held nationally televised talks with his three predecessors.  He appeared relaxed. He also made two minor gestures to the opposition, saying he favored the release of protesters jailed for what he called minor crimes. He said he was sending a delegation to Brussels for more negotiations with the European Union, and that he hopes to sign a political pact of association with the EU in March.
     
    But the protesters were unmoved. Ukraine negotiated for six years over its EU association agreement that was supposed to have been signed last month.
     
    On Tuesday, the three opposition leaders boycotted roundtable talks with the government.
     
    Markiyan Matsekh, a 22-year-old IT worker from western Ukraine, said the police violence of past weeks showed him that Ukraine risks becoming a dictatorship.
     
    “They went over the line, and this simply cannot happen in a democratic country,” he said, while warming up in a café next to the protest camp in central Kyiv. “I know that if I don’t stand for my rights now, then all my life I will be living in fear that I may be taken away, be judged without justice. So I am standing for my rights, for my future, for the future of my future children,” said Matsekh.
     
    Kyiv vs. Yanukovych
     
    Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich (2nd L) sits with three previous presidents, Viktor Yushchenko (L), Leonid Kravchuk (2nd R) and Leonid Kuchma (R) during their meeting in Kyiv Dec 10, 2013.Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich (2nd L) sits with three previous presidents, Viktor Yushchenko (L), Leonid Kravchuk (2nd R) and Leonid Kuchma (R) during their meeting in Kyiv Dec 10, 2013.
    x
    Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich (2nd L) sits with three previous presidents, Viktor Yushchenko (L), Leonid Kravchuk (2nd R) and Leonid Kuchma (R) during their meeting in Kyiv Dec 10, 2013.
    Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich (2nd L) sits with three previous presidents, Viktor Yushchenko (L), Leonid Kravchuk (2nd R) and Leonid Kuchma (R) during their meeting in Kyiv Dec 10, 2013.
    A new poll by Research & Branding Group indicates that western Ukraine overwhelmingly supports the EU pact - with 81 percent in favor. Overall, 46 percent of Ukrainians favor the EU pact, and 36 percent favor joining a rival pact with Russia.
     
    Support for Yanukovych seems lukewarm in Kyiv, a city where 75 percent of votes cast in the 2010 presidential election went for Yanukovych’s opponent. And the police violence of recent weeks pushed a lot of people here to demonstrate.
     
    On Tuesday afternoon, John, an American businessman, was dragging a small suitcase of food down a cobblestone street from his apartment to the demonstrators’ camp on the city’s central square.
     
    He contrasted the current mass protest with the Orange Revolution of 2004: “It’s brought together not only opposition factions, but people feel that they have been betrayed by the last-minute about-turn on the EU, and especially a much broader segment of the population, who are offended by the brutality of the authorities,” said he.
     
    For now, police have hemmed demonstrators in their tent camp in central Kyiv. With nighttime temperatures expected to drop to -16 Celsius and snow forecast for Wednesday, Ukraine’s president seems to be hoping that his best ally is Father Winter.

    • Pro-European Union activists gather during a rally in Independence Square in Kyiv, Dec. 10, 2013.
    • Pro-European Union activists warm themselves around a bonfire as they gather in Independence Square in Kyiv, Dec. 10, 2013.
    • A pro-European Union activist gives flowers to riot police on a main street in central Kyiv, Dec. 10, 2013.
    • Riot police gather to remove a barricade set up by supporters of EU integration in Kyiv, Dec. 9, 2013.
    • Ukrainian riot police block pro-European Union activists' tent camp in Kyiv, Dec. 9, 2013.
    • Interior Ministry personnel block a street during a gathering of supporters of EU integration in Kyiv, Dec. 9, 2013.
    • Protesters supporting EU integration occupy city hall in Kyiv, Dec. 9, 2013.
    • A young man stands on barricades defended by Pro-European Union activists next to government buildings in Kyiv, Dec. 9, 2013.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.