Vladimir Putin has demanded a reopening of the EU’s recently-ratified trade pact with Ukraine and has threatened “immediate and appropriate retaliatory measures” if Kiev moves to implement any parts of the deal.
The demand, made in a letter to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, reflects Russia’s determination to put a brake on Ukraine’s integration into Europe and other Euro-Atlantic organisations such as Nato, even after annexing Crimea and creating a pro-Russian separatist entity in the east of the country.
It also comes amid a fresh crackdown on Russia’s oligarchs, exemplified by the recent house arrest of billionaire businessman Vladimir Yevtushenkov, which was extended by a court on Thursday.
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