Brussels and Moscow clash over Kiev

Published on 17 December 2013 at 15:16

A meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his European counterparts on December 16 over the future of the Ukraine became surprisingly heated, reports Delo.

While few had expected the Brussels meeting to resolve the issue of whether the impoverished country should look to the EU or Russia for future trade after the collapse of the EU-Ukraine association agreement, the talks took a “surprisingly sharp tone”, continues the Slovenian daily.

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs pushed for Kiev to be allowed to make decisions without “pressure”, while Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said it would be “hard to find a solution without opening a dialogue with Moscow.”

Meanwhile, Russia – long suspected of putting economic and diplomatic pressure on the Ukraine not to sign the trade deal with the EU – is now in negotiations to provide Kiev with a huge bailout loan to prop up the country, reports the Wall Street Journal, with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych arriving in Moscow on December 17 to discuss the deal.

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