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US and Europe work on financial solution to Ukraine crisis

Riot police stood together facing a barricade of antigovernment protesters in Kiev.
Riot police stood together facing a barricade of antigovernment protesters in Kiev.David Mdzinarishvili/Reuters

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BERLIN — Working to salvage a failed effort to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union, and to counter Russian pressure, the United States and Europe are pushing to defuse the crisis there, trying to assemble a new financial package intended to ease the way for formation of a new government, US and European officials say.

The diplomatic push involves regular contact with government and opposition leaders in Ukraine, which has been embroiled in months of turmoil since its president, Victor F. Yanukovych, rejected an association agreement with Europe, opening the way to a $15 billion loan package from Moscow.

If that initial snub left the European Union looking outmaneuvered, Yanukovych now appears more embattled.

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