Struggle in Ukraine | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 17.12.2013
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Europe

Struggle in Ukraine

Protests continue in Ukraine as the country has become a center of geopolitical jockeying between the EU and Russia. Moscow and Brussels accuse each other of putting undue pressure on Kyiv to force tighter ties.

For weeks, thousands of protesters have been defying subzero temperatures in Kyiv to protest against President Viktor Yanukovych - initially, for his last-minute rejection of an association agreement with the EU.

Ukrainian police have tried to break up a large protest camp in the center of Kyiv several times, with riot police and demonstrators clashing on the Maidan, Kyiv's central Independence Square. But pro-European protesters are staying put, and are demanding Yanukovych’s resignation, among other things.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton visited Kyiv to seek a solution to the political crisis. While Brussels has rejected the Ukrainian government's request for a credit of 20 billion euros ($27.5 billion), Moscow was happy to comply with a loan of 15 billion dollars.

Yet Yanukovych did not sign up to a Russian-dominated customs union, as pro-European protesters had feared. And the EU has said the door is still open to the association agreement. It is still unclear what Yanukovych has in mind.

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