The European Union has halted fresh trade talks with the embattled government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich as hundreds of thousands of protestors rallied in Kiev against the country’s refusal last month to sign a free-trade deal with Brussels.
The E.U.’s move follows weeks of mass protests after the Yanukovich government put the brakes on a free trade agreement with Europe in favor of consolidating stronger ties with Russia. Yanukovich then appeared to vacillate, saying last week that he would sign a trade deal after all.
On Sunday, the E.U.’s Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele accused to Ukraine government of being out of touch with reality.
— Štefan Füle (@StefanFuleEU) December 15, 2013
Over the weekend, U.S. Senator John McCain attended the protests in Kiev, where he briefly took the stage to offer words of support to the masses enduring frigid winter temperatures.
“To all Ukraine, America stands with you,” said McCain, according to the AFP.
Protestors are calling for large-scale demonstrations to coincide with Yanukovich’s trip to Russia on Tuesday, where he is scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin.