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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, center, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, center, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.
(Wang Zhao/AP)

Ukraine economy swoons as President clings to power

You have to feel a bit sorry for Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. His decision to walk away from a comprehensive trade and association pact with the European Union was based on sound political reasoning. The deeply unpopular leader wants to stay in power and preserve his family’s accumulating wealth. And the deal with the EU wasn’t going to do either for him, despite the obvious long-term benefits for the Ukraine’s recession-wracked economy and cash-strapped government.