Logo Polskiego Radia

Protesters demand Ukraine president resign as tension mounts in Kiev

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 01.12.2013 16:01
As around 100,000 took part in another pro-EU rally in Kiev, Ukraine's ambassador in Warsaw apologised for the police beating of two Poles involved in Saturday's march.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Protesters argue with police trying to convince them to move away from a barrier line near the presidential administration building during a rally by EU supporters in Kiev, Ukraine, 01 December: photo - EPA/ALEXEY FURMAN

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's largest opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) took part in the demonstration in Independence Square in the Ukrainian capital on Sunday, as did Henryk Wujec, an adviser to Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski and Polish European Parliament MEP Jacek Protasiewicz.

Tension again mounted in Kiev as demonstrators, carrying EU flags and shouting "down with the gang", demanded that President Viktor Yanukovych step down from office following Ukraine suspending its bid to sign trade and other deals with the EU last week.

"They stole the dream. If this government does not want to fulfill the will of the people, then there will be no such government, there will be no such president," world heavyweight boxing champ-turned-opposition politician Vitaly Klitschko told the crowd.

A protester sprays green paint at police manning a barrier near the presidential administration building during a rally by EU supporters: photo - EPA/ALEXEY FURMAN

During a counter-rally, nationalist protesters broke into Kiev's city hall on Independence Square, occupying part of the building, Interfax reports.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's ambassador in Poland, Markijan Malski said after a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw that he felt "pain and sorrow" following two Poles being beaten up by police at the demonstration in Kiev on Saturday.

The ambassador was called in to explain the beatings after Poland's Foreign Ministry issued a statement in response to the brutal crackdown by 'Berkut' special forces in Kiev saying: “We are warning Ukrainian authorities against the use of force because such action may result in unpredictable and irreversible effects."

The statement also called for Ukraine to “resolve all social conflict and tension by peaceful means and through political methods,” and voiced hope that “the use of force will give way to dialogue and compromise.”

A joint statement by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Štefan Füle condemned the police crackdown.

"The EU decisively condemns the excessive use of force by the Kiev police last night in order to scatter peaceful protesters,” the statement said.

Poland's foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski tweeted on Sunday morning, referring to the associate agreement that Ukraine could have signed with the EU at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on Friday: "Once again - it is a great plan. All you have to do is make the reforms". (pg/ss)

source: PAP/Reuters/Interfax

Copyright © Polskie Radio S.A About Us Contact Us