Ukraine leader blasts protests as West mulls aid
KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych blasted mass protests against his rule as "extremism" on Monday, Feb 3, 2014, as the European Union and United States mull economic aid to help end the country's political crisis.
In a boost to the opposition, due to press fresh demands in a Parliament session on Tuesday, the EU and US linked any possible economic aid to democratic reforms and a new government.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton returns to Kiev on Tuesday in a fresh bid to end the two-month standoff, triggered when Ukraine walked away from a political and trade deal with the EU in favour of closer ties with Soviet-era master Moscow.
US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland is also due to visit Ukraine this week to keep pressure on Mr Yanukovych.