Ukraine Government Survives No-Confidence Vote

12/3/13
 
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from The Wall Street Journal,
12/3/13:

Ukranian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov

The political crisis in Ukraine stalemated Tuesday as the opposition failed to pass a vote of no-confidence in Parliament and the government sought to calm days of street protests by apologizing for last weekend’s violent police crackdown.

Thousands of pro-Western protesters gathered outside the Parliament and more were barricaded again on a nearby square to press their demands for the government’s ouster.

They have been in the streets since last week when the government, which has made improving relations with Russia its immediate priority, refused to sign a landmark trade deal with the European Union.

Before the no-confidence vote, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov apologized in Parliament for the brutal crackdown that sparked the largest demonstrations since the Orange Revolution swept a pro-Western government to power nearly a decade ago.

Authorities showed no signs of making any other concessions. In a display of confidence, President Viktor Yanukovych left on a state visit to China—a major creditor—where he hoped to secure loans and investment, a person close to Ukraine’s leadership said.

The government easily survived the vote; opposition parties fell 40 votes short of the 226 needed for passage.

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