Russia warns crisis-hit Ukraine over bailout
KIEV (AFP) - Russia warned protest-hit Ukraine on Wednesday that its huge bailout was dependent on Kiev's commitment to earlier promises made to Moscow, ahead of key talks between President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych.
Moscow's stern statement came as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was in Kiev to offer support for democratic reforms demanded by the opposition who have spearheaded two months of mass protests that have led to the resignation of Ukraine's entire cabinet.
But she also offered a downbeat assessment of the situation after meeting Yanukovych and opposition leaders. "I really need to feel a growing sense of momentum on this. We still need a lot more work," she told reporters.
Ukraine's unrest erupted in November after Yanukovych rejected an association agreement with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow, and the turmoil has now become an all-out movement to oust him.