The news to 24 November 2013
Ukrainians protested in large numbers at the decision of the country’s government to suspend negotiations with the European Union over the signature of an Association Agreement. Officials cited the terms of a proposed IMF-EU support package and the potential impact of a withdrawal of Russian economic interests as factors in the decision.
Meanwhile, 15,000 Moldovans rallied against the EU in the country’s capital, Chisinau, to protest against growing EU-ties. The country is expected to initial an Association Agreement at the summit, later this week.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development launched its Transition Report for 2013. The report warned that some Eastern European economies would never catch up with the West unless they overcame stalled reforms.
Construction began in Serbia on Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline, which will deliver gas to Italy and other European countries without transiting Ukraine. The pipeline will enhance the ability of Russia to cut exports to Ukraine without affecting EU member states. Serbia is believed to have granted Gazprom control over its energy market in return for Russia’s non-interference in talks with the EU about the status of Kosovo and Serbia’s membership of the Union.
Poland’s Prime Minister reshuffled his cabinet. Donald Tusk has more than a year to turnaround weak polling figures, which currently put him behind the opposition Law & Justice Party (PiS). Among the Cabinet Members losing their jobs were the Finance, Environment and Higher Education Ministers.
A supermarket collapsed in the Latvian capital, Riga, killing more than 50 people. President Andris Berzins called the collapse ‘murder’ and demanded an immediate explanation.
Source: BBC News
All but one of the 30 Greenpeace activists arrested for their part in a protest against Russia’s environmental standards were granted bail. Questions remained over how much the protesters knew about the potential repercussions of their actions, leading some to accuse Greenpeace of endangering their staff.
Source: BBC News