Kiev, Ukraine (4E) – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) joined the anti-government demonstration in Kiev, Ukraine on Sunday telling protesters they support their demand for economic integration with Europe instead of Russia.
“We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe. The U.S. is with you,” McCain said at the opposition rally in Independence Square, according to Russia Today.
Murphy told the crowd the U.S. stands with Ukraine.
The two senators also met Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich and imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s daughter Yevgenia on Sunday. Yanukovich told the visiting lawmakers the government is assuring protection of demonstrators and an investigation of the violent dispersal of protesters on Nov. 30.
McCain told Yevgenia he will consider sanctions against behind the political persecution of her mother, the website of Tymoshenko’s Batkyvschina party said in a post.
The demonstration at Independence Square is on its third week with an estimated 20,000 participants. They are protesting Yanukovich’s refusal to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union on Nov. 21 and his alleged push for the country’s membership with the Russian-led Customs Union trade bloc. They are also demanding his resignation and holding of new elections.
In nearby Mariinsky Park, some 15,000 supporters of Yanukovich held an anti-European Union demonstration.