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EU stops work on Ukraine pact

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Staff writer ▼ | December 17, 2013
The European Commission announced it was halting work on a landmark trade and political pact with Ukraine, meanwhile details emerged of the sanctions the United States and the EU would impose on President Viktor Yanukovich if there was a crackdown on demonstrators.
Ukraine
UkraineThe European Commission announced it was halting work on a landmark trade and political pact with Ukraine, meanwhile details emerged of the sanctions the United States and the EU would impose on President Viktor Yanukovich if there was a crackdown on demonstrators.


EU enlargement chief Štefan Füle said on Twitter that the words and deeds of Yanukovich and his government on the EU-Ukraine deal were "further and further apart".

"Their arguments have no grounds in reality," Mr. Füle said. In another Tweet he said that he told First Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov that that "further discussion is conditioned on a clear commitment to sign", adding "Work on hold, had no answer", reports EurActiv.

Mr. Füle's announcement came as 200,000 people braved sub-zero temperatures in Kiev to rally for the fourth weekend in a row against Yanukovich's decision not to sign the EU pact at a summit last month and concentrate instead on closer ties with Russia.

Mr. Yanukovich is due to visit Moscow and meet with Russian President Putin. The opposition fears he may take the first steps towards joining a Moscow-led customs union, together with Belarus and Kazakhstan, which they see as an attempt by President Vladimir Putin to re-create the Soviet Union.

"He might as well stay in Moscow and not come back to Kiev if a customs union agreement is signed," reportedly declared Arseny Yatsenyuk, an opposition leader and former economy minister.

A website quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Washington and Brussels had agreed to introduce immediate sanctions against Mr. Yanukovich and leading oligarchs, in the case of a crackdown on the protests on Maidan square.

According to the website Censor.net, one of the media which were recently raided by the police, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has not only warned told Yanukovich about the sanctions, but also named the people who would be hit in the first place.


 

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