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EU’s Barroso urged Ukrainian President to launch dialogue with opposition

January 23, 2014, 18:28 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
European Commission President expressed deep concern over the escalation of violence in Kiev
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European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Druzhinin

 

BRUSSELS, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso had a telephone conversation with Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich Wednesday night to call on the latter man for an immediate opening of dialogue with the opposition, Olivier Bailly, the European Commission spokesman said Thursday.

Barroso expressed deep concern over the escalation of violence in Kiev, he said adding: “Mr. Barroso also urged President Yanukovych to have the highest level dialogue with the opposition immediately."

"The use of force is obviously for the Commission not the answer to the political situation,” Bailly said. “Mr. Barroso also urged President Yanukovych to have the highest level dialogue with the opposition immediately.”

"President Barroso also recalled that...if the situation is not stabilized in Ukraine then the EU would assess possible consequences in its relationship with Ukraine," he said.

Bailly said the Ukrainian president told Mr. Barroso during the call "that it was not foreseen to install a state of emergency in Ukraine."

Barroso made known the EU preparedness to assist a dialogue between the government and the irreconcilable opposition and to send the Foreign and Enlargement Policy Commissioner Stefan Fuele to Kiev for the purpose.

EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, may travel to Kiev next week, too.

Bailly said Yanukovich welcomed these decisions. When a reporter asked him about the procedure for enacting the EU sanctions against the Ukrainian authorities, Bailly said Brussels was attaching priority to assistance to the political dialogue and expected an end to what EU officials claim to be violence against the demonstrators and journalists.

At this moment, a revision of relations between the EU and Ukraine is off the agenda but it can be raised if violence continues, Bailly indicated.

 


Protests by rightwing nationalistic opposition marked by the use of violence of various degrees of intensity began in Kiev at the end of last November when the Yanukovich administration took an eleventh-hour decision to put off the signing of an agreement on association with the EU.

Protesters have been camping on the city’s notorious Independence Square /the Maidan/, hurling stones and flares at police patrols, seizing the offices of state, and occasionally trying to occupy the buildings where the governmental headquarters and the national parliament - the Verkhovna Rada - are located.

Police has had to use water cannons and rubber bullets in response practically every time.

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