World

Ukraine's EU Pact Brings Russian Warning, 'Nazi' Accusations

Russia predictably wasn't happy with Ukraine's signing of a deal with the European Union, a hugely symbolic move tied to the country's unrest.

Ukraine's EU Pact Brings Russian Warning, 'Nazi' Accusations
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Russia's not too happy about the deal that threatens its sphere of influence.

KAREN TSO, CNBC ANCHOR: "Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia all signing that free trade agreement, and this is history in the making."

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, fighting in the capital Kiev eventually forced Yanukovych to flee the country. (Via The New York Times, Euronews)

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."

SERGEI GLAZYEV, SENIOR ADVISOR TO RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN: "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."‚Äč (Via BBC)

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.

PAUL BRENNAN, AL JAZEERA CORRESPONDENT: "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 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. (Via RT)

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. (Via Voice of America)

A ceasefire agreement between Ukrainian troops and the pro-Russian militants expires Friday.