Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (L) meets with freed Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko in Kiev on May 25, 2016. / AFP / GENYA SAVILOV
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Politicians in Kiev worry that a vote by Britain to leave the European Union would weaken the EU's support for Ukraine and undermine its resolve to stand up to Russia.A decision by then president Viktor Yanukovich to reject an association agreement with the EU sparked the "Maidan" protests in 2014 that brought a pro-Western government to power and precipitated Moscow's annexation of the Crimean peninsula.Britain has pushed for the EU to renew sanctions on Russia imposed after the Crimea annexation, but other EU countries want them lifted, so if the country leaves the bloc, that could soften the EU stance, Ukrainian politicians say.Despite disappointment with progress since the Maidan revolt, Ukrainians remain broadly positive towards the EU with 55 percent supporting the association agreement and just 15 percent preferring a trade deal with Russia.
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