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Brussels, 19 February 2014
Statement by President Barroso on Ukraine
"It was with shock and utter dismay that we have been watching developments over the last 24 hours in Ukraine. There are no circumstances that can legitimise or justify such scenes. We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and their families. We condemn in the strongest terms the use of violence as a way to solve a political and institutional crisis. It is the political leadership of the country that has a responsibility to ensure the necessary protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. We call on all sides to immediately put an end to the violence and engage into a meaningful dialogue, responding to the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people.
The EU has been offering its sincere assistance to facilitate political dialogue between the sides and de-escalate the situation. We continue to believe that constitutional reform, formation of a new inclusive government and creating conditions for democratic elections constitute the only way-out of this deep and long-lasting political crisis. We have made it clear we stand ready to support Ukraine on this road of reforms, towards democracy, stability and prosperity. We have made it clear that our offer of political association and economic integration remains on the table, and does not constitute the final goal in our cooperation.
Yet, we have also made it clear that the EU will respond to any deterioration on the ground. We therefore expect that targeted measures against those responsible for violence and use of excessive force can be agreed by our Member States as a matter of urgency, as proposed by the High Representative/Vice President."