Pro-European protesters in the Ukraine

Pro-European protesters in the Ukrainebigstock-Flag-Of-Ukraine-resized2

The Ukrainian parliament has come under fire from protesters after deciding to withdraw from an EU integration agreement. Pro-European protesters have been demonstrating against the decision this week, including blockading government buildings to prevent officials entering.

The cost of insuring Ukraine’s debt against default has risen to the highest since January 2010 and the country has been struggling to make foreign debt repayments and pay state staff wages.

The disruption to government operations could aggravate the situation but the protesters are clear in what they want.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian residents have been demonstrating since the national government decided to postpone their agreement to an EU trade and association deal earlier in the week.

Political opposition leader Arseniy Yatseniuk said his party and the protesters wanted to see Prime Minister Mykola Azarov sacked, but a “no confidence” vote in parliament by the opposition failed to achieve the 226 MP votes it needed to oust the current Prime Minister from his position of authority.

Russia has previously put pressure on the Ukraine’s trade avenues to prevent the country signing up to EU deals. Officials stated that Brussels had offered financial aid to help counteract this pressure, although the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, said that negotiations on the terms of the agreement had closed.