Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych will renew talks with the European Union after ending their political association and free trade pact last week. This comes as a response to the political uprising from protesters besieging government buildings and officials from three different cities defecting from the central government due to the original ruling.
Yanukovych contacted European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Monday to renew negotiations that would better the fragile Ukrainian economy.
The Associated Press reports that 45% of Ukrainians support EU integration, with support growing stronger amid the anti-government sentiment that is spawning protests and police violence. The president’s Cabinet is hoping his change of heart will assuage the negative feelings seeping through the country.
Meanwhile, the opposition is hoping to secure enough votes to hold a special election next year and oust the president and his cabinet as soon as possible. The opposition is receiving support from Ukraine’s media, who are offering their television stations as platforms for protesters and anti-government leaders. However, it is unclear whether they were able to secure enough votes in parliament to move ahead with their plans.
Thousands have been protesting in Kiev since the Cabinet announced they were ditching their ties to the EU to have closer ties to Russia, with a violent dispersal of a small peaceful rally taking place over the weekend. Russian president Vladimir Putin says these protests are the opposition’s way of destabilizing government.
“The events in Ukraine look more like pogroms than a revolution,” he said.