Ukraine lawmakers ratify landmark deal with Europe
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine moved to resolve months of crisis Tuesday by strengthening ties to Europe and loosening some controls over the country’s rebellious eastern regions where it has been fighting Russian-backed separatists.
The actions by lawmakers began to flesh out the emerging picture of a new Ukraine, where a determined pivot toward Europe has come at great cost: concessions to Russia and a war with rebels that killed more than 3,000 people and pushed the West’s relations with Moscow to Cold War-era lows.
The measure deepening the economic and political ties with Europe was the issue that sparked the crisis last fall, when then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to shelve the deal in favor of closer ties with Russia sparked protests by hundreds of thousands. Those demonstrations eventually drove him from power in February and led to the annexation of Crimea by Moscow and the rebellion in the east, where a shaky cease-fire began Sept. 5.