Ukraine's EU Pact brings Russian warning, 'Nazi' accusations
Russia's not too happy about the deal that threatens its sphere of influence.
CNBC reports, "Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia all signing that free trade agreement, and this is history in the making."
The New York Times says history in the making as it was this agreement that started the crisis in Ukraine in the first place. When former President Viktor Yanukovych abruptly walked away from this deal in favor of a Russian bailout last November, protests began immediately. While they began peacefully, Euronews reports fighting in the capital Kiev eventually forced Yanukovych to flee the country.
This snub of signing the EU pact by the new government and newly-elected President Petro Poroshenko despite all Russia did to keep Ukraine under its influence didn't go over well in Moscow.
The comments making the most headlines came from a senior advisor to President Vladimir Putin, who told BBC President Poroshenko and members of the new government in Ukraine are "Nazis."
"Europe is trying push Ukraine to sign this agreement by force. ... Now in Ukraine, we have a clear Nazi government. This Nazi government is bombing the largest region of Ukraine."
Putin's spokesman quickly told Russian media that was not the position of the Kremlin. Besides the verbal jab, it's unclear what Russia actually plans to do to follow through on its threat of grave consequences.
Al Jazeera reports, "I don't think we're talking about military retaliation, of course, but there's no doubt Russia has plenty of levers it can pull to exert influence on this part of the world."
And, according to RT, that's the general consensus among analysts. While Ukraine wants to integrate itself into the European economy, it's still heavily reliant on Russia for energy - giving the Kremlin plenty of leverage in threats of sanctions.
Voice of America says pro-Russian militants on the eastern side of Ukraine continue to fight the new government. Russia denies any hand in the fighting, though the U.S. and Europe allege Russia is funding and arming the militants.
A ceasefire agreement between Ukrainian troops and the pro-Russian militants expires Friday.