EU to pump millions of Euros into anti-government protests in Ukraine, reports Brian Denny.
The European Union is throwing its weight behind the far-right uprising in Ukraine with plans to pump millions of Euros of EU funds into opposition groups, or “the development of citizens’ movements”.
EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy piled the blame on the elected Ukrainian government for “destabilisng” Ukraine as violent protests spread across the country.
Protests erupted in western Ukraine following Kiev’s refusal to sign an EU Association Agreement and instead signed a Customs Union with Russia, sparking a grand geo-political battle between Germany and Moscow.
The EU agreement would have including a so-called Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), giving EU corporations direct access to Ukraine’s already weak economy including its crucial energy market.
Far right activists from the Freedom Party and Punch, led by former world heavyweight boxing champion is Vitaly Klitschko, have seized control of many government buildings, including the justice ministry, draping the walls with right wing symbols including White Power and US Confederate flags.
The EU chairman announced extra encouragement to Ukraine’s opposition movement at a corporate event with leading Polish capitalists in Warsaw.
Invoking Cold-War-era divisions in Europe, he said: “Poland should have been an EU member from the start; nobody can prevent the Ukrainian people from seeing their dreams fulfilled one day”.
He was speaking alongside Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk who also used the occasion to heighten tensions in Kiev, just 200 miles to the east of the Polish capital.
The pro-German Polish leader announced plans for three million of Euros to be poured into pro-EU Ukrainian groups. Tusk has also long-supported German chancellor Angela Merkel’s call for endless austerity to be imposed on crisis-hit EU countries.
The opposition movement has since rejected Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych’s offer to give two of its leading MPs positions in a government reshuffle.
Ukrainian justice minister Olena Lukash has threatened to call a state of emergency and interior ministry Vitaliy Zakharchenko said that “attempts to solve the conflict peacefully, without recourse to a confrontation of force, remain futile”.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azaraov was banned for speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland while attempting to prevent Western sanctions being imposed on his country.
He had blamed “ultra-nationalists, xenophobes and anti-Semites” for causing increasingly violent clashes with riot police.
European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso also threatened Ukraine with EU sanctions, or, in his words, “possible consequences for bilateral relations”.
Click here for more info