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Ukraine's PM booed in parliament after snubbing EU, turning to Moscow

  • 180e511459d3cb27430f6a706700773b.jpg

    Activists wave Ukrainian flags during a night rally in support of Ukraine's integration with the European Union in the center of Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Nov. 21, 2013. Ukraine’s president-controlled parliament on Thursday failed to pass any of a flurry of proposed bills allowing the release of jailed former premier Yulia Tymoshneko, dealing a harsh blow to this ex-Soviet republic’s chances of integration with the European Union. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov) (The Associated Press)

  • db6dcf4c59d3cb27430f6a7067006d60.jpg

    Activists wave Ukrainian and European Union flags during a night rally in support of Ukraine's integration with the European Union in the center of Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Ukraine’s president-controlled parliament on Thursday failed to pass any of a flurry of proposed bills allowing the release of jailed former premier Yulia Tymoshneko, dealing a harsh blow to this ex-Soviet republic’s chances of integration with the European Union. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov) (The Associated Press)

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    Activists hold a flag with the image of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko during a night rally in support of Ukraine's integration with the European Union in the center of Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Ukraine’s president-controlled parliament on Thursday failed to pass any of a flurry of proposed bills allowing the release of jailed former premier Yulia Tymoshneko, dealing a harsh blow to this ex-Soviet republic’s chances of integration with the European Union. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov) (The Associated Press)

Opposition lawmakers have booed Ukraine's prime minister, whose government shelved a potential historic deal with the European Union, while turning toward Moscow.

The lawmakers chanted "Shame!" and threw stacks of paper at government ministers and tried to prevent Prime Minister Mykola Azarov from speaking Friday as he sought to defend the government's turnaround in parliament.

Azarov's Cabinet said Thursday it was suspending preparations for signing a free trade and a political association agreement with the EU at next week's summit.

He told parliament that Ukraine could not afford to lose trade with Russia, but stressed that the decision was only tactical and that the strategic goal was still the EU.

Meanwhile, several dozen activists continue round-the-clock protests on a Kiev square, the site of the 2004 Orange Revolution.