Ukraine risks 'falling apart': Polish PM

24th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

Poland's prime minister warned Friday that neighbouring Ukraine was at risk of breaking apart because of the escalation between police and anti-government protesters, and urged EU action to ward off further instability.

"The most important thing is to cooperate with both the opposition and Ukrainian authorities in order to prevent the black scenario that is really possible: Ukraine falling apart," premier Donald Tusk told reporters in Warsaw.

"Nobody in Poland or the EU has a plan to avoid this scenario," he added, saying "intense work was needed to devise a plan for the long term."

Under pressure from Russia, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a key EU association agreement at a November summit, triggering the start of protests against him by pro-EU demonstrators.

Protesters were on Friday occupying regional administration buildings in six regions in western Ukraine after storming them in a major challenge for Yanukovych.

Such actions have raised the prospect of Yanukovych losing control of a vast swathe of the country as he faces mass protests in the capital Kiev.

Western areas of Ukraine bordering EU members Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia are staunchly nationalist and pro-European, while the sympathies of Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions lie with Moscow.

Poland, an ex-communist country that joined the European Union in 2004, is a leading advocate of closer EU-Ukraine ties.

"I don't know whether there are significant powers that are interested in Ukraine falling apart. Some activities in Moscow and Kiev could indicate that someone there is pulling strings and is interested in some kind of provocation," Tusk said.

He was due to discuss Ukraine with visiting European Council President Herman Van Rompuy in Warsaw on Saturday.


© 2014 AFP

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