Police may continue taking down barricades in central Kyiv, says official

Dec. 11, 2013, 5:20 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

"If the enforcement service goes to the police and starts carrying out the court's ruling, the police will accordingly be involved," Deputy Interior Minister Viktor Ratushniak told reporters on Wednesday.

If the enforcement service does not request help from the police, the latter will stay out, he added.

Ratushniak also said that law enforcement authorities were investigating the alleged planting of bombs in Kyiv subway stations and other transport facilities in the capital city

 

Ashton concerned about police attack on Batkivschyna office

Dec. 10, 2013, 10:22 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has said she is concerned about the recent events in Ukraine and encouraged the Ukrainian authorities to refrain from using force to resolve the crisis.

Ashton said this in a statement released in Brussels on the eve of her two-day visit to Ukraine, which begins on Tuesday.

"On the eve of my visit to Kyiv, I follow with concern the reports that police forces forcibly entered the office of the biggest opposition party, Batkivschyna. This comes on the afternoon of the same day that President [Viktor] Yanukovych proposed the establishment of a national roundtable, bringing together the leaders of all political forces and the three former presidents of Ukraine," reads the statement.

In this regard, Ashton said that "these latest events seriously risk to derail the process."

"I call on the Ukrainian authorities to exercise utmost restraint and refrain from any further use of force, in order to give space for a negotiated solution out of the current political stalemate," she said.

As reported, the Batkivschyna Party announced that police together with Berkut officers were attacking their Kyiv office.

 

Ashton: Yanukovych reassured me that he is ready for dialogue

 

Dec. 11, 2013, 4:28 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

 

Brussels - European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has said that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has reassured her of his readiness to engage in dialog. 

Ashton said this in a statement published on Wednesday.

"In the long discussion I have had with the president, he reassured me that he was prepared to engage in dialogue, and I urge him to do so. He also reiterated his wish to sign the Association Agreement. I discussed with him the urgent need to release those arrested, to ensure a prompt and fair investigation, and to bring those responsible for violence to justice," Ashton said in her statement.

"From talking to civil society representatives, the opposition and former Ukrainian presidents I conclude that last night's police action makes the launch of a political dialogue more difficult than before. In the next hours I will try to explore all possible ways to assure that a genuine peaceful solution is still in reach. It will require a high amount of political courage and determination," she said.

Ashton said that she was deeply concerned about Tuesday night's action taken by riot police.

"I have been very much impressed with the peaceful and courageous nature of the ongoing protests in support of European aspirations. I condemn the use of force and violence – which cannot be the answer to peaceful demonstrations - and I call for the utmost restraint," she said.