Ukrainian Lawmaker Thrown in Dumpster Before Big Vote

Ratified deal a hard-won first step toward EU membership, Poroshenko says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 17, 2014 12:15 AM CDT
Updated Sep 17, 2014 3:45 AM CDT

It was a big day for Ukraine yesterday, and one that Ukrainian lawmaker Vitaly Zhuravsky likely won't soon forget. Parliament ratified a measure deepening its economic and political ties with Europe—the measure that was the issue that sparked the crisis last fall, when then-President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to shelve the deal in favor of closer ties with Russia sparked protests by hundreds of thousands. But before that vote happened, Zhuravsky ended up in a dumpster outside parliament, reports ABC News, which describes Zhuravsky as pro-Russian and a key member of Yanukovych's party. Protesters tossed him in with the trash, even with police nearby, and threw a car tire and water on him. He was eventually able to escape. NBC News notes Zhuravsky "has a history of authorizing bills placing restrictions on anti-government protests."

The deal, meanwhile, lowers trade tariffs between Europe and Ukraine, requires Ukrainian goods to meet European regulatory standards, and forces the Kiev government to undertake major political and economic reforms. "After World War II, not a single nation has paid such a high price for their right to be European," President Petro Poroshenko said. "Can you tell me, who now after this will be brave enough to shut the doors to Europe in front of Ukraine?" Earlier yesterday, the parliament also approved laws granting temporary self-rule to rebellious, pro-Russian regions in the east, as well as amnesty for many of those involved in the fighting. The lawmakers took that action behind closed doors, in stark contrast to the patriotic fanfare of the vote on the European agreement. (More Ukraine stories.)

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