Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published February 10, 2014 at 9:07 AM | Page modified February 11, 2014 at 1:18 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (3)
  • Print

EU urges new government, elections in Ukraine

In a sharp rebuke to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the European Union on Monday called for the formation of a new, inclusive government and constitutional reforms that would pave the way to "free and fair presidential elections."


Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
How about the EU disbands instead. That would really be beneficial. MORE
If Republicans stage a large gathering in DC will Obama step down? If not, then why... MORE
The minority of people who voted against the president in the first place is protesting... MORE

advertising

BRUSSELS —

In a sharp rebuke to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the European Union on Monday called for the formation of a new, inclusive government and constitutional reforms that would pave the way to "free and fair presidential elections."

The bloc's 28 foreign ministers said in a joint statement they were "alarmed by the human rights situation, including violence, cases of missing persons, torture and intimidation" as part of the authorities' crackdown against the ongoing protests, reflecting an "atmosphere of impunity."

Ukraine has been rocked by nearly three months of anti-government protests sparked by Yanukovych's refusal to sign an agreement with the EU and accept a $15 billion loan package from Russia instead. The political deadlock is also pushing Ukraine's economy closer to the brink; its currency and foreign reserves are tumbling while Moscow has suspended its loan payments.

The ministers at their meeting in Brussels reiterated the EU stands ready to assist Ukraine financially, provided a new, inclusive government will be formed to "pursue economic and political reforms."

The EU has so far shied away from imposing sanctions such as travel bans or asset freezes against the Ukrainian leadership, but the foreign ministers' demand for constitutional reform and fresh elections on Monday reflected the bloc's growing impatience.

"A new and inclusive government, constitutional reform bringing back more balance of powers, and preparation for free and fair presidential elections would contribute to bringing Ukraine back on a sustainable path of reforms," they said.

Separately, the foreign ministers decided to start negotiations with Cuba to upgrade the EU's ties with the Caribbean island nation. The EU's foreign policy chief, however, cautioned that progress will depend on Cuba's determination to implement further reforms toward opening its economy and respecting fundamental rights.

The Cuban government later issued a statement attributed to Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra Diaz saying dialogue with the EU should be "based on a reciprocal, unconditional and non-discriminatory approach."

The EU resumed low-level contacts with Cuba in 2008, two years after Raul Castro became president and started granting Cubans some more freedom. European nations have long traded with Cuba and thousands of Europeans flock to the island's beaches every year.

___

Follow Juergen Baetz on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jbaetz



News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Hurry! Last two weeks to save 15%.

Hurry! Last two weeks to save 15%.

Reserve your copy of "The Seattle Sketcher," the long-awaited book by staff artist Gabriel Campanario, for the special price of just $29.95.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►