[12 Dec 2013] Ukraine political crisis - English

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12   Dec   2013   Ukraine   political   crisis   PTV   Presstv   English   Ukraine   has   been   hit   with   a   wave   of   political   unrest   since   late   November   when   President   Viktor   Yanukovych   refused   to   sign   a   trade   pact   with  

Ukraine has been hit with a wave of political unrest since late November when President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a trade pact with the European Union. The refusal to sign the deal triggered major street protests by the opposition supporters, who want Ukraine to become closer to the EU and distance itself from Russia. Clashes erupted several times between the anti-government protesters and police forces during the demonstrations. Several arrests were made in the course of the protests as well. In an effort to calm the political unrest, Yanukovych on Wednesday invited all parties, including the opposition, to engage in dialog to resolve the crisis facing the country. Ukrainian opposition leaders rejected Yanukovych\'s offer of negotiations, calling for dismissal of his government and release of detained protesters. Russia has criticized Western nations for interfering in Ukraine, saying protests against Kiev\'s decision to back away from the EU deal were destabilizing the former Soviet state. The Russian parliament, the State Duma, in a non-binding statement on Tuesday urged the West to \"stop mounting external pressure on the politics of a country that is brotherly to us.\" The lower house of parliament also called on Ukrainian opposition forces to \"stop illegal actions\" over the political crisis.

Added by PTV on 13-12-2013
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