After months of vacillation between calm and violence, the protests in Keiv have now broken out into a full blown crisis with pitched battle between protestors and police. The violence is not localized to the country’s capital but has spread to other parts of the country as the nation became once again a pawn in the hands of the major powers in the region. The settings look chillingly similar to the situation during the cold war as major powers jostle to increase their influence in the region.
The violence started after the pro Russia government rejected an accord with the European Union and preferred stronger ties with Russia which even promised a huge bailout package. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said that after several attempts to compromise, it is time to put a stop to the protests especially after opposition leaders “crossed a line when they called people to arms.”
However Yanukovich has not done anything to correct its Governments tighter embrace with its big neighbor instead of taking the country on the path of reforms along with Europe.
Meanwhile the EU has initiated financial and travel restrictions on Ukraine after the government crackdown on the protestors. However experts doubt the effectiveness of sanctions. During the talks on Wednesday, EU Ambassadors are discussing a number of steps which includes freezing of assets, travel bans. The 28 EU ambassadors will gather once again in Brussels on Thursday to decide on the future course of action. The US is also mulling on putting in place sanctions against the Ukrainian government after consultation with its European allies.
Less than four months ago both Kiev and the European Union were on the brink of an agreement , which would have given Ukraine preferential access to the huge and single EU market. However the present government blinked at the last minute and signed a deal with its neighbor Russia which considers Ukraine as its backyard.