ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the Ukrainian government on Tuesday to “listen to the voices of its people” after President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to spurn an agreement with the European Union sparked days of massive protests. Kerry said Ukrainians had demonstrated “in unbelievable numbers” their support of the accord on closer ties with Europe, which Yanukovych rejected last week in favor of Russian incentives.

Rallies against Kyiv's decision to shelve a landmark pact with the European Union are gaining momentum in Ukraine, with students emerging as the backbone of the protests. Students have been skipping classes to protest President Viktor Yanukovych's abrupt policy U-turn away from Europe in favor of closer ties with Russia. The decision came just days before he was expected to sign the pact at a summit in Vilnius on November 29.

Hundreds of Ukrainians have flocked to Kiev's Liberty Square to show their support for closer ties with their European neighbours. Demonstrators, who have camped out for a week, have been protesting around the clock against the government's decision to abandon forging an historic pact with the European Union.

Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine is slipping back under Kremlin control. Ukraine’s shock decision to opt for Vladimir Putin’s Russia and pull out of EU talks on the eve of an historic deal is a dramatic upset to the European balance of power. It is the first major defeat for the EU in its eastward march since the fall of Communism. While the region’s geo-politics remain fluid, the upset may prove as fateful as the move by the Kossack chief Bohdan Khmelnytsky to turn his back on the West and accept Tsarist suzerainty in the 1640s.

Ukraine has rejected draft laws that would allow the release of a jailed opposition leader, suspended plans for a landmark agreement with the European Union and announced it will renew active dialogue with Russia. The Ukrainian parliament's failure to pass the bills on Thursday to grant freedom to the former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, took away the country's last chance to satisfy the EU's condition for stepping towards integration with the 28-member bloc.

Vladimir Putin’s dream of creating a Eurasian Union is about to breathe its last breath. Over the past several weeks, Russia has made headlines with its bullying of Ukraine for the latter’s intention to sign an association agreement with the European Union in November.

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine will travel to Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia April 8-16, 2013. In Moscow, Russia, April 8-11, Under Secretary Sonenshine will be the keynote speaker at the “Fulbright Program in Russia: 40th Anniversary of Successful Academic Exchanges” conference.

Today, e-diplomacy is growing on a huge scale and in many different areas, and the importance for diplomats to employ the tools of e-diplomacy is enormous. Diplomats are able to spread information and receive feedback from both the public and the international community, strengthen connections with foreign partners, as well as make communication within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs easy, practical, rapid and cost-saving.

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