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Russia the 'swing factor' in Ukraine's future

Russia's role in the future of the Ukraine has become the latest focus for the country after acting president warned of "dangerous signs of separatism" following the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych at the weekend.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Ukraine must not be forced to choose between Russia and the West, as the EU and U.S. discuss aid packages for the heavily indebted nation and Russia's offer of $15 billion in aid is no longer certain.

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Both Russia and the West have emphasized they do not want to see Ukraine split and face the risk of civil war after three months of violence, but analysts now say Russia is the "swing factor" in Ukraine's future.

"From almost being at the bottom, Ukraine's economy has now sunk lower in the last two days and in desperate need of aid," said head of credit and political risk advisory JLT Specialty, Elizabeth Stephens.

Anti-government protesters gather at Kiev's Independence Square.
Getty Images
Anti-government protesters gather at Kiev's Independence Square.

"Russia is the swing factor. Russia is the next door neighbour of the Ukraine, if there was to be any type of intervention, the Russians are far better-placed to do that than Europe is – it will also have the political will to do so, which the Europeans don't appear to have at the moment," she said.

The Ukraine's hryvnia touched a record low on of Tuesday, sliding 6 percent to 9.70 against the dollar. The previous low was 9.55 in December 2008.

(Read more: Ukraine's ousted president wanted for mass murder)

Both the rouble and Russian stocks also weakened on Tuesday as foreign investors shied away from the financial markets in the region.

Ukraine's parliament put off plans to vote on the formation of a national unity government on Tuesday to allow consultations to continue.

The International Monetary Fund has said they will make their own independent assessment of the situation in Ukraine while EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on a visit to Kiev that she wants to offer strong support to the country.

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"It won't be as simple as elections solving it. It is only in the last 24/48 hours that we have heard some Ukrainians say they might want to split the country, particularly those in the Crimea and be more pro-Russian. But I think that would only happen as a result of Russian intervention into the Crimea area," said Stephens.

By CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave: Follow her on Twitter @jenny_cosgrave