SOCHI, Russia – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Vladimir Putin have met on the sidelines of the opening ceremony for the Sochi Olympic Games.
The Kremlin on Saturday confirmed that Yanukovych and Putin met late Friday evening but stopped short of giving the details. Ukraine has seen intense and often violent protests for more than two months since the government's decision to reject closer ties with the European Union in favor of Russia. Russia has promised its western neighbor $15 billion in aid, but has disbursed only $3 billion while waiting to see whether Ukraine's president stays in power.
Yanukovych's visits came a day before the Russian financial minister announced that Russia would not lend more to Ukraine unless it pays its gas bill, due in January.