• Ukraine leader consults Putin amid crisis

    Date: 2019.09.18 | Category: 苏州美甲 | Tags:

    Ukraine’s embattled President Viktor Yanukovych has returned to protest-hit Kiev after holding private talks with his Russian counterpart and ally Vladimir Putin about a suspended Moscow bailout loan.


    The late Friday chat on the sidelines of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi came amid intensifying pressure from the opposition on Yanukovych to cede some of his broad powers and appoint a new pro-Western government.

    Neither Russian nor Ukrainian officials disclosed the details of the two leaders’ conversation except to say that it was brief and held at Sochi’s Fisht stadium where the Games’ opening ceremony was held.

    “There was no official bilateral meeting. That was not a part of (the president’s) program,” a Ukrainian administration spokesman said.

    Yanukovych had been expected to discuss with Putin the fate of a $US15 billion ($A17 billion) Russian bailout whose delivery has been effectively frozen pending the formation of a new government.

    The ex-Soviet nation of 46 million was thrown into its worst crisis since independence in November when Yanukovych ditched an historic EU pact under Russian pressure in a stunning reversal that sparked deadly protests.

    The sustained protests that followed have since then played out as a titanic struggle for the country’s future between Russia and the West.

    Yanukovych must now decide whether to submit to protesters’ demands by taking a more conciliatory approach toward a new agreement with the European Union – a possibility that prompted Russia to suspend its loan after issuing just one instalment of $US3 billion in December.

    The protracted crisis has seen Ukraine’s borrowing costs spike and the currency lose nearly 10 per cent of its value as frightened consumers rush to cut their losses by stocking up on dollars and euros.

    Leading Ukrainian politicians are expected to meet on Monday to discuss opposition proposals to slash presidential powers and return to a constitution the country had until 2010 that granted extended powers to parliament.