Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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After a failed effort to violently disperse pro-European Union protests, the government of President Viktor Yanukovych collapsed on February 21, 2014. He fled from Kyiv, as did many of his supporters, and protestors took over Kyiv. The Ukrainian parliament approved a new proreform, pro-Western government on February 27. The parliament has scheduled new presidential elections for May 25, 2014. Russia has condemned the new government in Kyiv as illegitimate and responded by sending troops to seize Ukraine s Crimea region. Ignoring U.S. and international condemnation, Russia annexed Crimea on March 18. Ukrainian officials charge that Russia is also trying to stir unrest in eastern and southern Ukraine, where many Russian-speakers live, perhaps in order to provide a pretext for an invasion of those regions. Ukraine s new government faces serious economic problems. Ukraine has long-standing problems in attracting foreign investment, in part due to rampant corruption and other shortcomings in the rule of law. In the near term, the government s dwindling foreign exchange reserves have raised the prospect of a default on sovereign debt later this year, unless the government can secure new loans quickly. On March 5, the European Commission unveiled an 11.175 billion Euro about 15.5 billion aid package for Ukraine. On March 17, the day after Crimean authorities held a referendum on joining Russia, the European Union imposed a visa ban and an asset freeze on 21 figures from Ukraine and Russia who played roles in Russia s seizure of Crimea.
- Government and Political Science