Government / Politics / Russia

Protests in Ukraine Garner Increased International Support


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Kiev at Night (courtesy of Morgue File)

Growing international support may be the apex for fueling successful political change in a country who otherwise is seen as a political pon for Russia.

Demonstrations by citizens of Ukraine have gained international support from the EU community and even a U.S. educational institution. In a statement issued by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU affirms the opportunity extended to Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) is “still on the table”.  

The University of Michigan Ukrainian Language Program (one of the first of its kind in the United States), issued a public statement in support of the protests and political change in Ukraine. 

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych turned down the deal earlier this week, amid increasing economic pressure from Russia to join the Customs Union and increase ties with the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Almost every winter, Russia ceases oil supplies to the country over ‘price disagreements’ but many see it as a demonstration of Russian power by illustrating Ukrainian dependence on Russia for economic stability. Increased trade with the EU would assist in pulling Ukraine from under the political wings of Russia. Russia has also been accused of pivoting Armenia away from EU agreements when Putin visited the country in September and Armenia announced their decision to accede to the Customs Union.

The New York Times quoted Yuri V. Lutsenko, the leader of the Ukrainian Orange Revolution of 2004:

“I am sure that every person who stood at the glorious Orange Square nine years ago has to do the same,” he told the crowd. “I would like you to accept my personal apologies for what was not finished.”

This rederick shows increased movement toward the international acceptance of a political change in Ukraine which may ultimately lead to legitimacy, the most influential factor in determining the success of a political revolution.

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