Feb. 4 - As demonstrators continue to call for the resignation of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, the EU considers a big loan to the debt-laden country. Sarah Toms reports.
Protesters in Kiev have repeated their calls for the resignation of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Here a group of mothers demonstrate against Russian President Vladimir Putin's involvement in their country's affairs. They want to see closer ties with the EU rather than Russia. Ukraine's unrest began in November, when Yanukovych backed away from a trade deal with the EU, and instead agreed a loan with Russia. Now the EU and US are considering a big loan to help the debt-laden country. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso insists the EU is not competing with Russia for Ukraine's loyalty. SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JOSE MANUEL BARROSO SAYING: "What we can do, and in fact we are discussing with our partners, is for a country that is in difficulty - but not because of agreements with us - a country that is facing various challenges, if we can do something more in this particular phase, that we are discussing with the partners certainly always with the perspective of helping Ukraine in its European path, because we believe that is the path that most Ukrainians clearly prefer. They want to come closer to European Union and certainly we are ready to support that." Yanukovych is now back at work after four days of illness. His office said he had been suffering from a fever and breathing problems. But opposition leaders accuse him of playing for time. His first task is to name a new prime minister to replace Mykola Azarov who resigned last week, along with the rest of his cabinet. The government has offered to repeal controversial anti-protest laws and to pass an amnesty for detained protesters. But these demonstrators will not be placated. What they want is Yanukovych to step down and fresh elections to be called.