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Warsaw shows solidarity with Ukraine protesters

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 05.12.2013 08:53
As Warsaw city hall illuminates the Palace of Culture in the colours of the Ukrainian flag, the government in Kiev has indicated that it is considering snap elections.

Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Wednesday night: photo - PAP/Leszek Szymański

“I do not rule out that such offers will be aired when we sit at the negotiating table … and I think we are ready to consider them," Serhiy Arbuzov, Ukraine's deputy prime minister and political ally of President Viktor Yanukovych told a television station last night, signally the government is looking for compromise to defuse mounting tension in the ex-Soviet state.

Poland's Radoslaw Sikorski will join other European foreign ministers for a meeting of the OSCE in Kiev on Thursday and Friday, where he is expected to try and mediate in the political conflict which broke after the Ukraine government pulled out of signing an associate agreement with the EU.

Poland has been leading the push within the EU to bring ex-Soviet states like Ukraine closer to the West and Minister Sikorski urged the Ukrainian government on Wednesday to make urgent reforms, as demanded by Brussels and the IMF, so as to stave of bankrupting the country, he said.

President Yanukovych, meanwhile, will be dropping off in Moscow on his way back from a trip to China, where President Putin will be offering Ukraine trade deals and other agreements.

Local authorities in Poland have been showing solidarity with Ukrainians who want closer ties with the EU, with Wroclaw bathing a sports stadium in the colours of the Ukrainian national flag, and the Palace of Culture was illuminated late Wednesday night.

European Parliament envoys to Ukraine, former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski and Ireland's Pat Cox have said that they are ready to continue their mission, if the Ukrainian authorities and opposition recognise that it would be useful.

Kwasniewski told reporters in Brussels that he would continue to work for the release of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison, where she is serving a seven-year sentence for "abuse of power" when in office, and try to find a compromise solution between opposition and government.

"I do not know if the opposition has a realistic plan," Kwasniewski said, "and I do not know what the plan of the government is: how it wants to get itself out of the position it finds itself in".

European Parliament president, Martin Schultz said that if his institution "could become a bridge between [government and opposition] then we are ready". (pg)

tags: Ukraine
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