Clashes, Injuries Reported at Pro-EU Rally in Kiev
New clashes between riot police and pro-EU protesters have been reported overnight Monday into Tuesday in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
A number of people have sustained injuries.
The protesting citizens insist on European integration of Ukraine. The clashes took place hours after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said that the decision to not sign the association agreement with the EU was not taken lightly and urged the demonstrators to calm down.
Ukraine made the decision on the EU deal last week, saying it could not afford to break ties with Moscow. Russia is trying to bring Kiev into its own customs union.
Several rallies in Kiev have been held over the last few days. Rallies have been reported also in the Black sea city of Odessa and other cities.
Outraged Ukrainians say they do not want their country to become Russian province again, and pledge to not give up with the rallies until they receive assurances about the European future of their country.
Demonstrators remain on Maydan square, guarded by police.
Heavyweight boxing champion, Vitali Klitschko, who leads the opposition Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party (UDAR - Smash), has addressed them again late Monday evening insisting on relentless pressure on archenemy, President Viktor Yanukovych, to sign the association agreement with the EU.
In addition to Vitali Klitschko, other opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnybok have also urged Yanukovych to sack Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and to sign the agreement.
The signing had been set for November 29 in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, where several other ex-Soviet states will forge closer ties with the EU.
In a joint statement the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said the door to the EU is still open for Ukraine and the association agreement was on the table.
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