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Brussels, 22 January 2014
Statement of the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, on recent events in Ukraine
We are shocked to hear the latest news from Ukraine about deaths of protesters, and express our deepest condolences to their families. We deplore in strongest possible terms the use of force and violence, and call on all sides to immediately refrain from it, and start taking steps that would help de-escalate the situation.
The overall environment has been worsening for some time and I would like to explicitly underline the fundamental responsibility of the Ukrainian authorities to now take action to deescalate this crisis and in particular the need for them to engage in a genuine dialogue with the opposition and with civil society on the ways to overcome this deep crisis.
We are also following with great concern the recent restrictions on fundamental freedoms including freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
We are genuinely concerned about where these developments are taking Ukraine and will continue following closely these developments, as well as assessing possible actions by the EU and consequences for our relations.