The rally is taking place in the same square where Yanukovych’s opponents have recently put up tents.
Demonstrators are holding their Party of Regions and EU flags and posters reading "Ukraine’s Future Is in Europe", "No to Job Cuts", "No to Higher Prices" and "For Integration on Decent Terms".
Their opponents do not intend to leave the square. More than 30,000 peopled joined them on Thursday and twice as many are expected to come on Friday evening.
No clashes were reported with pro-European protesters yet.
Ukraine still indends in future to sign agreement with EU, but need financial, economic aid - Yanukovych
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Friday that Kiev still intended to sign an association and trade agreement with the EU in the future, but he wanted the bloc to take 'decisive steps' to draw up an economic aid package for Ukraine. He also reaffirmed the Ukrainian government’s intention to sign agreement on association with the EU over the short term.
Justifying his decision not to sign the agreement on Friday at an EU summit in Lithuania's capital, he told EU leaders in a closed summit session: "Unfortunately, Ukraine in the last while has turned out to be alone in dealing with serious financial and economic problems."
"So today we need from our European partners decisive steps to be taken towards Ukraine to work out, and realise, a programme of financial-economic aid," he said, in comments reported on his web site.
Viktor Yanukovych has reaffirmed the Ukrainian government’s intention to sign agreement on association with the EU over the short term.
He said it Friday at a plenary session of the summit of the EU's so-called 'Eastern Partnership' format.
"Ukraine and the EU have entered the final phase of making up the association and I feel confident this agreement will open up a new page in the development of the Ukrainian state and will raise our relations with the EU and its member-states to a quality new level," Yanukovych said.
"I reaffirm Ukraine’s intention to sign the agreement on association shortly," he said.
Protesters in Ukraine backing association with EU believe they can travel to Europe without visas
The majority of protesters in the Maidan believe that association with the EU will automatically cancel visas, and Ukraine will become an EU member, while actually Ukraine is facing economic decline by 2020 and a possible default.
"There are prospects especially for the youth, because you can simply go to Europe," one of the participants of the protest said to a correspondent of the Russian First Channel. When the reporter noted that association with the EU did not imply cancellation of visas, the activist was surprised. "What do you mean it is not written? It was written. I read it!" the activist assured.
"I want my children to be able to take a bus or a plane and fly, for example, to London tomorrow, or to Paris the day after tomorrow," another activist in the square said.
"Firstly, we will be able to travel around Europe, we will be able to work and participate in different projects. Secondly, we will receive financial aid," a student supporting the EU-Ukraine Association believes.
"There are lots of myths in fact. Those, who read the agreement on the association with the EU, are well aware that, firstly, this agreement does not contain Ukraine's membership in the EU even in prospect. It is not assumed. Secondly, this agreement does not contain any obligations of cancelling visas on the part of the EU," representative of the government of Ukraine in the Eurasian Commission, former Minister of Economy of Ukraine Viktor Suslov said.
For the EU, Ukraine means a restoration of acute deficit, which is oppressing Europe's economy - the lack of demand, author of the Svargaman blog believes.
"Europeans oppressed by the crisis consume less, respectively – they produce less, earn less and consume less. Governments of the EU countries cannot break this vicious circle. Therefore, they seek for demand outside the EU. Here, a classical neo-liberal scheme steps in, which in the case of the EU looks like that: with our money we stimulate demand outside of our territory, but for our products; the demand increases our production, which in turn stimulates the growth of incomes of our population, which leads to an increase in demand in our country. Meanwhile, the growth of the "external demand" should in no case be provided by the growth of the real sector in this country. In the end, all this will lead to the fact that the country that swallows the bait of "easy money" and renounces its real sector in favor of our goods. The country would fall into default and would owe Europe huge amount of money."
German political analyst Alexander Rahr has noted that the European Union would possibly like to help Ukraine to adapt to the new conditions, but, alas, Brussels simply had no money for that now.
"The position of the West was that the main assistance for Ukraine would be moral and technical support, but not material one. Europe would send its specialists to Kyiv, it would more widely open some segments of its markets. However, the problem of helping Ukraine with money to develop its economy has never been at issue," Rahr said to Inpress.ua.
According to official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich, the population of Ukraine will have to tighten their belts against the background of growing unemployment and deterioration of the balance of payment and the trade balance of the country. Experts have calculated that association with the EU would not bring economic benefits to Ukraine. On the contrary, Ukraine faces the prospect of decline of the economy up to 2020.