French, German, Polish foreign ministers in Kiev Thursday

19th February 2014, Comments 0 comments

The French, German and Polish foreign ministers will be in Ukraine on Thursday after the deadly escalation in the country's political crisis, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

Calling for "restoring political dialogue between the opposition and the government," Fabius said he, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Poland's Radoslaw Sikorski would hold meetings in Ukraine early Thursday before emergency talks among EU ministers in Brussels.

Sikorski himself said the three would hold talks with embattled Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych.

Meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Fabius called on all sides to "return to dialogue" and condemned the violence that left 26 people dead after a crackdown on protesters by security forces.

"What happened was completely unacceptable.... The perpetrators of these acts cannot go without sanctions," Fabius said.

Kerry said the international community was "deeply disturbed by the scenes of violence and the level of abuse" on the streets of Kiev in recent days.

"We are talking about the possibility of sanctions or other steps with our friends in Europe and elsewhere in order to try to create the environment for compromise," Kerry said.

"Our desire is for president Yanukovych to bring people together, dialogue with the opposition, find the means to compromise, put the broad interests of the people of Ukraine out front," Kerry said.

"We are convinced there is still space for that to happen" he said.

"We hope very, very much that violence can be avoided."

© 2014 AFP

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