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Ukraine’s opposition demands country’s association with European Union

November 25, 2013, 12:07 UTC+3
Kiev has seen huge mass protest rallies, comparable with those during the Orange Revolution of 2004
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MOSCOW, November 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Kiev has seen huge mass protest rallies, comparable with those during the Orange Revolution of 2004. The Ukrainian opposition announced on Sunday it begun a EuroMaidan (”maidan” is “square” in the Ukrainian language) — a timeless support for integration with Europe. The participants demand the country’s leaders sign the agreement with the EU, otherwise they will insist the cabinet dismisses for the reason of “betraying national interests,” Kommersant writes.

Thus, the opposition hopes to replay the scenario of nine years ago, where the revolution in Maidan resulted on Viktor Yanukovich’s losing and where Viktor Yushchenko took the power. However, the newspaper’s sources and experts doubt Ukraine’s current opposition is capable of staging a European revolution or dismissing President Yanukovich.

“We begin fighting for a new country,” the opposition’s leaders announced to their supporters in the European Square in central Kiev (the rally featured between 25 to 100 thousand participants).

Head of the Moscow University’s Centre for FSU Space Aleksey Vlasov says it is not correct to compare as equal the current events and the Orange Revolution. “It does not matter if the street rallies featured ten or twenty thousand of supporters for the European integration. In 2004, people were united by the indignation about the falsified voting. Now, they are missing a factor, which could make the events to legal in the public opinion,” the Kommersant quotes the expert as saying. He added saying 40% of Ukrainians supported the EU association, while 35% preferred the Customs Union.

“Ukraine has been in a complicated economic situation. It requires measures not to slump into a crisis. Ukraine’s economy has been declining for the fifth quarter running. Over ten months, the GDP fell by 0.6%. At the same time, about 30% of Ukraine’s export go to Russia, and over last three months Ukraine lost in the trade turnover with Russia about five billion dollars,” RBC daily quotes a Russian negotiator with Ukraine as saying.

Rossiiskaya Gazeta quotes director of the Russia-Ukraine Information Centre Oleg Bondarenko: “The preparations for signing the association agreement is suspended, not stopped. Brussels’ pressure on Kiev may be clearly called shameless.”

Political analyst Dmitry Dzhangirov told the newspaper: “Expert contacts with Europe are unlikely to have stopped. The Eastern Partnership program’s expenses made €6.6 billion, a big sum for Europe. Realistically, the most important in this situation is what Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said about the desire to discuss with President Vladimir Putin — without Kiev and Brussels — the issues related to Ukraine and the general situation in the post-Soviet space.

Itar-Tass is not responsible for the material quoted in these press reviews.

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