Russia has warned Ukraine that if the country goes ahead with a planned agreement on free trade with the EU, it faces inevitable financial catastrophe and possibly the collapse of the state.
This is Vladimir Putin's mafia state in action:
The Kremlin aide added that the political and social cost of EU integration could also be high, and allowed for the possibility of separatist movements springing up in the Russian-speaking east and south of Ukraine. He suggested that if Ukraine signed the agreement, Russia would consider the bilateral treaty that delineates the countries' borders to be void.
"We don't want to use any kind of blackmail. This is a question for the Ukrainian people," said Glazyev. "But legally, signing this agreement about association with EU, the Ukrainian government violates the treaty on strategic partnership and friendship with Russia." When this happened, he said, Russia could no longer guarantee Ukraine's status as a state and could possibly intervene if pro-Russian regions of the country appealed directly to Moscow.
"Signing this treaty will lead to political and social unrest," said the Kremlin aide. "The living standard will decline dramatically … there will be chaos."