Kyiv’s about turn on the trade pact with the European Union stunned EU leaders – however the bloc has stressed discussions will continue.
But last weekend’s government crackdown has prompted the question whether the European door should be kept open? European Parliament President Martin Schulz was adamant it should:
“We have two kinds of interlocutors, the government representing the country but also the opposition, which is part of the nation. If you keep a door open, you keep it not open for one, you keep open for both,” he said.
Referring to the continued unrest, EU envoy to Ukraine, Aleksander Kwasniewski has dismissed comparisons with the Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution:
“Today’s situation is totally different. We have a democratically elected president and his term is expiring in March 2015 and we can not say as serious politicians or serious partners with the European Union that we don’t accept such a mandate.”
Support for the mass protests has come from a surprise quarter. Three previous post-Soviet presidents of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, Viktor Yushchenko and Leonid Kravchuk have all expressed “solidarity” with peaceful rallies.