A Kiev court on Sunday banned two opposition parties from holding rallies in the center of the Ukrainian capital on May 17, during the arrival of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Ukraine.
The ban applies to the All-Ukrainian Union "Freedom" and the "For Ukraine Party" whose representatives earlier announced their readiness to hold protest actions on Monday when Medvedev starts his visit to Ukraine.
The ban has been imposed to "avoid any confrontation between representatives of different political views, considering the previous experience of providing public security during similar actions, and also conflicts with police that may lead to a sharp deterioration of the situation and mass disorders," the court's press office said.
The Freedom union said the court ruling was unfounded and it would challenge the decision.
The Ukraine opposition earlier claimed that the Ukrainian government was preparing secret deals with Russia.
Former Ukrainian prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has demanded that all documents be published. She said Russia's proposal to merge Russian energy giant Gazprom and the Ukrainian gas monopoly Naftogaz was depriving her country of its sovereignty.
The merger proposal came just days after Russia and Ukraine signed a landmark agreement to extend Russia's use of the Black Sea Fleet's main base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol for 25 years beyond its original 2017 expiration. In return, Ukraine received an immediate discount on Russian natural gas.
The gas-for-fleet deal was severely criticized by the Ukrainian opposition which staged protests inside and outside of the Ukrainian parliament during the ratification of the deal.
The Ukrainian opposition considers the presence of the Russian Navy in Crimea a threat to the country's national sovereignty and integrity. A larger part of the Ukrainian population considers the extension of the lease a catalyst for mutually beneficial cooperation between Kiev and Moscow.
KIEV, May 16 (RIA Novosti)
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