Dec. 17 - Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with embattled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich amid continuing protests in Kiev. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich traveled to Moscow on Tuesday to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Speaking at the start of the meeting, Putin said he hoped the two leaders would be able to make progress on several issues, highlighting the importance of Russia's relationship with Ukraine. Putin said he hopes the two men will be able to move forward in solving the "most sensitive issues" for the two countries and emphasized that Ukraine is Russia's "strategic partner and ally in every sense of this word." The Ukrainian President described the meeting as "strategic", mentioning in particular decisions made in the "bilateral trade sphere." Ukraine wants to secure new loans from Russia to help fend off an economic crisis after it spurned a trade deal with the European Union, although any deals reached at talks in the Kremlin could fuel ongoing anti-government protests in Kiev.