EU halts talks with Ukraine on trade deal

In Ukraine, new rallies of opposition and supporters of President Yanukovych. In Kiev, according to the metropolitan police, about 35 thousand people marched at the demonstration. Organizers on both sides speak of a much larger number of participants in the rallies.

Supporters of European integration gathered at Independence Square. In the Mariinsky Park is a rally in support of the authorities’ policies. The action was organized by the ruling Party of Regions.

Meanwhile, the European Union is awaiting Ukraine’s proposals on the signing of the Association Agreement, until which negotiations have been suspended.

The day before, opposition leaders in Kiev met US Senator John McCain. The United States says it is considering options for action in relation to Ukraine in connection with the dispersal of demonstrations. Among the options is the imposition of sanctions.

The EU Commissioner for Enlargement Štefan Füle has announced on Twitter that negotiations with Ukraine on a trade pact have halted.

Referring to the country’s government, led by President Victor Yanukovych, Füle tweeted: “Words & deeds of President &government regarding#AssocAgreement further&further apart.Their arguments have no grounds in reality.”

Ukraine u-turned on its long-planned Association Agreement with the EU last month, shortly before it was due to be signed.

The government said the country could not afford to sacrifice trade with Russia by going ahead.

The decision of Yanukovych has sparked Euromaidan – weeks of mass demonstrations in Kyiv, in which hundreds of thousands of people have taken part.

Kiev, Maidan, 15 december 2013

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