Ukrainian protesters block main government building

Monday, 2 Dec 2013 | 2:28 AM ET

KIEV, Dec 2 (Reuters) - About 1,000 protesters blocked off the Ukrainian government's main headquarters on Monday in protest at its decision to suspend moves to deepen integration with Europe and to revive economic ties with Russia.

In response to an opposition call for a nationwide strike over President Viktor Yanukovich's U-turn on Europe, protesters gathered outside the cabinet building in the capital Kiev and lined the street with obstacles, including flower pots and rubbish bins, to prevent government workers from getting inside.

"We were told to go back home and await further instructions. We simply could not get to work. All the doors are blocked," said a government employee who tried to enter the building.

Transport was running smoothly in Kiev, however, despite the strike call.

Witnesses said a pro-Europe rally in Kiev on Sunday attracted about 350,000 people, the biggest protest in the capital since the "Orange Revolution" of nine years ago. Protesters called for Yanukovich to resign.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Writing by Thomas Grove, Editing by Timothy Heritage)