Eastern Ukraine Spells Out The Importance Of Ukraine's Interdependence With Russia
December 23, 2013 • 8:33PM

An article in the France-based website, Euronews, reported today from the Donetsk Basin why the economic future of Ukraine is intertwined with Russia. In eastern Ukraine, Donetsk Basin, also known as Donbas, is known for being heavily industrialized and an important coal mining region. The article said 50% of local production is exported to Russia; and trade and investment are set to increase under the new agreement. "Russian capital is present in the banking sector: we have Russia's Sberbank and VneshEkonom Bank. Today the trend is for an outflow of European banking capital, replaced by Russian capital," said the Governor of Donetsk region, Andrey Shishatskiy, speaking in Russian.

In this region of Ukraine there exist strong arguments for modernizing and cleaning up the old industries, the coal industry in particular, but the protest against Ukraine not aligning with EU is lukewarm. The western media has conveniently suppressed eastern Ukraine's support for staying with Russia. The Moscow Times noted on Dec. 16 that 1,200 kilometers east of Kiev, Ukrainians look to Russia. They produce goods that are exported to Russia. They speak Russian. For three years as president, Viktor Yanukovych has tried to balance these two sides.

Meanwhile in Kiev, the protest against President Yanukovych is getting feebler. Euronews reported Dec 22's rally drew far fewer people than previous weeks. Yet, diehard demonstrators, are determined to stay put throughout the holiday period.

Chinese and Russian officials have issued sharp criticisms of the EU-US intervention in support of the pro-EU protests. Yuri Ushakov, a senior foreign policy advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, accused the EU and the United States of interfering in Ukrainian affairs. "The West is actively playing at the Ukrainian field. There is no doubt about it," Ushakov said. "Who is in Kiev on a daily basis, who meets the leadership and the opposition, who lays down demands and sets various conditions? Its not Russia."

The official Xinhua news service of China-- itself uneasy with the U.S. over Washington's pivot to Asia, issued an editorial last week saying: "The West must keep its hands off the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation. Showing support for anti-government protesters is a serious blow to Ukrainian democracy, not to mention that it could complicate regional affairs."