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Polish minister to go to Kiev at EU request

AFP , Wednesday 19 Feb 2014
Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (Photo: Reuters)

Poland's foreign minister said Wednesday the European Union had asked him to go to Ukraine where three months of anti-government protests have escalated into deadly clashes between police and demonstrators.

"At the request of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, I will soon start a mission in Kiev," Radoslaw Sikorski said on Twitter.

His spokesman Marcin Wojciechowski declined to give a time for the mission, saying only that a date would be announced "at the appropriate time".

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he would call on the EU to impose sanctions on Ukraine, blaming the government for the deadly clashes on on Tuesday, the worst violence to hit Kiev since the crisis erupted in November.

"Now is the time" to impose sanctions on those behind the violence, he told parliament. "The victims need it."

"There's no doubt: the authorities in Kiev are responsible for the victims and the drama in Kiev, not the opposition."

Polish anti-communist icon Lech Walesa said the EU had been wrong not to talk with Russia about the crisis.

"Mistakes have been made -- nobody spoke with Russia," said Walesa, who as leader of the Solidarity trade union negotiated a peaceful end to communism in Poland in 1989.

"Both sides -- the president and the opposition -- want to eliminate each other," Walesa told the WP.PL news website.

"The president is supposed to give in and call elections, but he was elected democratically, so he's resisting."

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