People release balloons as they gather in Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) to celebrate a free-trade agreement between Ukraine and the European Union in central Kiev, June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
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Ukraine's new president signed an economic and political pact with the European Union Friday, pushing his troubled country closer into a European orbit over the protests of Russia, which warned of possible sanctions.European Union leaders decided not to immediately impose new sanctions on Russia for destabilizing eastern Ukraine.The EU leaders gave the Russian government and rebels until Monday to take steps to improve the situation in eastern Ukraine, including agreeing on a way to verify the cease-fire, returning three border checkpoints to Ukraine, releasing all captives and launching "substantial negotiations" on Poroshenko's peace plan.Borodai, however, demanded Ukrainian troops withdraw from eastern Ukraine and rejected the EU demand to withdraw from the Ukrainian checkpoints on the border with Russia they have seized.The U.N. said Friday that 110,000 Ukrainians had fled to Russia this year and another 54,000 fled their homes but stayed in Ukraine.
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