Sun, Nov 24, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Thousands rally in Ukraine over EU

DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS:Protesters showed their president that they wanted to move back toward the West and away from Russia, the direction he wants for Ukraine

AP, KIEV

Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in St. Petersburg on Friday, denied twisting Ukraine’s arm, and, in turn, accused the EU of using “pressure and blackmail” against Ukraine.

“It will become clear in the next few days whether Ukraine and its leadership will yield to pressure or will be able to resist it and take a pragmatic stance in line with national interests,” Putin said.

In Washington, the US State Department said that US Secretary of State John Kerry would not travel to a meeting next month of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Ukraine, blaming scheduling issues.

The White House said US Vice President Biden called Yanukovych on Friday and said he is disappointed over Ukraine’s decision and that the US strongly believes that integrating with Europe will help Ukraine increase its democracy and restore economic prosperity.

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