Ukraine

Russia Urged Ukraine To Delay Signing Deal With the EU

Says Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov

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Russia had urged Kiev to delay signing a key deal with the EU, Ukraine's prime minister has admitted, as mass protest rallies continue across the country.

Mykola Azarov said Moscow had offered to hold trilateral talks on the issue, without giving "any ultimatums".

Kiev last week put on hold the association and free trade deal with the EU, prompting Brussels to accuse Moscow of exerting pressure on Ukraine.

The move triggered huge pro-EU protests in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied putting any pressure on Kiev, accusing instead the EU of "blackmailing" Ukraine into signing the agreement.

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