Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ukraine Police Clash With Pro-EU Protesters - Fire Tear Gas On Protesters

KIEV, Ukraine -- Thousands of pro-European Union protesters have clashed with police during a rally in Ukrainian capital of Kiev.


Ukraine's pro-EU supporters have denounced President Viktor Yanukovich's policy change towards Russia.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through Kiev on Sunday to demand the government reverse course and sign a landmark agreement with the EU.

However, some protesters tried to storm government buildings and police responded by using tear gas and batons against the demonstrators.

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

Ukrainian and EU flag-carrying demonstrators shouted "Ukraine is Europe" and sang the national anthem as they marched towards Independence Square.

The protest was led by Ukraine's top opposition figures, who called for the rallies to continue until President Viktor Yanukovych agreed to sign the free trade and political association deal with the EU at a summit on Friday.

Pro-Europe supporter Anton Vashkevich said the protesters wanted to say that the government and President did not represent the opinion of the whole country. 

Tymoshenko release demand 

"What they think does not express the thoughts of the majority of the population," Vashkevich said.

"There is no alternative to the European Union."

Ukraine's leaders announced suddenly last week that they were pulling out of the EU agreement because they said 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.

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

Tymoshenko's daughter Eugenia was one of those attending Sunday's protest march. 

Elsewhere in Kiev, thousands of Yanukovych supporters held their own rally on Sunday.

Those attending the march came to voice their support for the government's decision to halt the signing of the EU agreement.

One government supporter, Nina Gorkava, said that the EU was not offering Ukrainians anything and was just putting a heavy burden on them.

"Why should we follow their rules? If we voted for independence of our country we should be really independent," she said.

The EU has said that Yanukovych is still welcome to attend the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Thursday and Friday, during which the two sides had intended to sign the trade agreement.

Source: Al Jazeera

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.