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Ukraine rejects EU deal amid pressure from Russia

KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Protests broke out in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday following cancellation of trade talks with the European Union due to pressure from Russia, police said.

Protesters in Kiev waved British and Ukraine flags, shouting "Ukraine is Europe" and "President Viktor Yanukovych -- enemy of the country," the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported.

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Some of the protesters were turned away by police at the presidential offices but they vowed to return until their demands are met.

Ukraine Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said the decision was the result of economic pressures.

"The decision the government has made is based on economic reasons," he said. "It is of a tactical character and does not change our strategic objectives."

Deputy Prime Minister Jurij Bojko argued the deal would not make up for losses from Russia, which has threatened to cut off gas supplies to the indebted country, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Under the deal, Ukraine would have been required to release imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a rival of Yanukovich.

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