VARIOUS: Days after visiting with Ukrainian oppositions leaders in Kiev, U.S. Senator John McCain criticizes...
- Title: VARIOUS: Days after visiting with Ukrainian oppositions leaders in Kiev, U.S. Senator John McCain criticizes Ukraine's leadership agreeing to a 15-billion dollar bailout deal with Russia
- Date: 19th December 2013
- Summary: KIEV, UKRAINE (DECEMBER 19, 2013) (REUTERS) PROTEST STAGE WITH DEMONSTRATORS IN FRONT LASER LIGHT PROJECTING THE STARS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ON TO A BUILDING CROWD APPLAUDING BOXER AND LEADER OF OPPOSITION UDAR PARTY VITALY KLITCHKO SPEAKING ON STAGE CROWD APPLAUDING CROWD LISTENING WHILE HOLDING SIGNS AND FLAGS
- Reuters ID: LVA7LFTPOPAYQYMOTGSDGSUQPDQR
- Location: Usa, Ukraine
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:26
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: International Relations
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Speaking at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., U.S. Senator John McCain criticized a 15 billion dollar bailout deal between Russia and Ukraine.
On Tuesday (December 17), Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich secured a $15 billion bailout from Russia, offering respite for an economy heading ever closer to default but also drawing accusations he has sold his country out to its former Soviet master.
"I think he (Yanukovich) is also trying to kind of walk a middle ground here, accepting the money in a bailout, hoping that people will be satisfied with that," McCain said.
"Now, I don't think they will be satisfied with that and here's why, membership in the E.U. was not what got millions of Ukrainians to demonstrate. That's in some ways that's kind of a technical matter, but what membership in the E.U. meant was an alignment with Europe rather than Russia. It meant an outcry against the corruption that now besets the entire country," the Republican longtime lawmaker said.
By grasping the lifeline thrown by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Yanukovich reignited demands for his resignation by opponents at home already enraged by his decision to walk away from a trade and political deal with the European Union.
Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Kiev after Yanukovich accepted Putin's offer on Tuesday to buy Ukrainian and cut the price of Russian gas exports, a deal which keeps Kiev firmly in Moscow's orbit.
McCain warned about the possible repercussions of such a deal.
"For us to believe that Vladimir Putin is going to give up Ukraine to the west without a fight and exercise many options I think is sheer foolishness," he said.
"Obviously, Putin is not going to send in tanks, but he certainly can cause great difficulties and unrest in that country and the best antidote is solid, western support, assistance with the I.M.F. loan, and a receipt of their application, an open door to an application to join the E.U.," he added.
On Saturday (December 14), U.S. Senator John McCain had met Ukrainian opposition leaders in Kiev and voiced support for protesters camped out for weeks in the capital, a move sure to anger Moscow for what it sees as Western meddling in its backyard.
The street protests started after the November 21 decision by President Viktor Yanukovich - seeking the best possible deal for Ukraine to stave off bankruptcy - to walk away from a trade pact with Europe at the last minute and seek closer ties with its old Soviet master.
The movement has since grown in size and vehemence, bringing tens of thousands onto the streets in a series of rallies, becoming an all-out protest against the president and his cabinet.
McCain is the latest of a string of European and American dignitaries to tour the sprawling protest camp set up behind tall barricades - prompting Russia to accuse the West of excessive involvement.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Embargoed:3rd January 2014 12:00