Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tens Of Thousands Rally In Kiev For Closer EU Ties

KIEV, Ukraine -- Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through central Kiev on Sunday to demand that the Ukrainian government reverse course and sign a landmark agreement with the European Union in defiance of Russia.

Activists rally in the center of Kiev, Ukraine, in support of Ukraine's integration with the European Union. 

The protest was the biggest Ukraine has seen since the peaceful 2004 Orange Revolution, which overturned a fraudulent presidential election result and brought a Western-leaning government to power.

Led by Ukraine's leading opposition figures carrying giant Ukrainian and EU flags, the demonstrators chanted "Ukraine is Europe" and sang the national anthem as they marched toward European Square.

An estimated 100,000 people turned out for the rally.

"We want to be together with Europe," Volodymyr Mnikh, a 62-year-old retired chemist, said with tears in his eyes.

"We want our children to have a future and not to be pressured by Russia."

Ukraine's leaders announced suddenly last week that they were pulling out of a free trade and political association deal with the EU to be signed in the coming week, saying the country could not afford to break trade ties with Russia.

The Russian government has worked aggressively to derail the EU deal and bring Ukraine into the Moscow-dominated Customs Union.

"The EU means Ukraine's development," said demonstrator Andriy Mazeta, a 19-year-old management student.

"The Customs Union means Ukraine's destruction. We need to push Russia as far away as possible."

Sunday's protest was seen as a test of the strength of the opposition and its ability to nudge President Viktor Yanukovych back in the EU's direction.

One key EU demand for signing the deal is the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose imprisonment the West sees as politically driven.

Yanukovych only narrowly defeated Tymoshenko in the 2010 presidential election and sees her as a political threat.

He comes up for reelection in 2015.

Source: AP

1 comment:

Igor Skakovsky said...

Ukraine must not rush either direction, and choose traditional partners and European values to benefit both sides. Like in the good marriage, no one is perfect and all must have respect for each other and if necessary to compromise without harming its own people.
People of Ukraine please go home and take care of your families. Ukraine is working on becoming a part of Europe. It must take some time for excepted laws to show the results. AA agreement could be singed or not singed it makes no different at this point. Ukraine can be better or worth in EU or with Russia, in either case Ukraine must negotiate favorable conditions for its industries and as a result for its people. In either case Ukrainian industrial complex and agriculture must be heavily subsidized in order to be adapted to EU standards. It is critical for Ukraine that national industry and agriculture do not get destroyed and in its majority must belong to Ukrainians.
When negotiating with EU, Ukraine must ask for EU to open up its borders for Ukrainian goods only, not for EU products to come to Ukraine, for the sett period of time so, its industries could have a chance for adaptation. Opening of the EU borders could be set up for the selected sector of industry for specified period of time, in stages. After completion of each stage Ukraine will open its borders as well and agreement should move to the next stage.
When negotiating with Russia, Ukraine must protect its independence in the sense that Russian model may not be suitable for Ukraine and it should have an exit strategy in case things will not go right so, Ukraine do not end up as it did with the gas contract. For example each country jointly with Russia should find its one steps of progressing. Many steps and programs which are common for all participants could first be tested in Ukraine to see if they work and then adopted by others. Whatever is being worked out Ukrainian nationals must keep majority of its key industries to them self in order to guaranty that changes will be made for the interest of its businesses and its people, in that order.
Business must be profitable but not barbaric nor harmful for the community, no matter with whom Ukraine will associate. Russia is known to us but, law must restrict barbaric practices of business take over. With EU, law exist for everyone so, same subsidies for the all industries that exist in EU must be applied in Ukraine. It is most important to understand what is best for your people and then for the government and act with those understandings in mind.