- Ukraine's protests over European Union look different to RussiaBattle for Ukraine over European Union is not over, protests show Russia's Vladimir PutinUkraine government survives no-confidence vote over European Union pactUkraine bad loans systemic but interbank market working: Russia's VEB
in loans, but Kiev needs billions more next year for gas bills and debt repayments. China's foreign ministry made a noncommittal response to a query whether Beijing would provide any more aid to Ukraine.
In Moscow, the delegation led by a deputy prime minister, Yuri Boiko, was seeking lower prices for Russian natural gas and aid to close gaping external deficits that could set off a balance of payments crisis.
"You are having quite an active political season," Medvedev told Boiko drily in the meeting at his residence outside Moscow, according to Interfax news agency. "Of course this is an internal matter, but it is very important that there be stability and order in the country."
Azarov told his cabinet in Kiev that the Boiko visit would continue a dialogue with Russia on trade and economic relations that are "very critical for maintaining and developing Ukrainian industry and economy".
Russian President Vladimir Putin had threatened financial sanctions against Kiev if it signed the trade agreement with the EU last month. Yanukovich abandoned the deal at the last moment, surprising European leaders and angering his domestic critics.
Ukraine's central bank intervened again on the currency market to support the value of the national hryvnia currency, amid concerns that its stock of foreign reserves of $20 billion will be sufficient to hold the line.
The cost of insuring Ukrainian government debt for five years rose to 1,097 basis points, near-four-year highs. Levels over 1,000 basis points are indicative of financial distress.
Opposition deputies forced parliament to suspend its session, blockading the speaker's rostrum to further their demands for Yanukovich to dismiss Azarov and his team.
Pro-Europe demonstrators have set up a large encampment on Independence Square - scene of the 2004-5 "Orange Revolution" - and monitor news events from a giant television screen.
Mobile snack bars dispense soup and hot drinks. People huddle round blazing braziers set up on the street. At Kiev's city hall, which protesters have occupied since Sunday, people dozed on the floor while others passed through the revolving doors for handouts of food and warm clothing.
The challenge for the opposition now appears to be how to