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Leaders urge end of violence in Ukraine

Updated: 2014-01-30 16:12
( Xinhua)

BUDAPEST - The prime ministers of the Visegrad Group, which includes Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, on Wednesday called for an end to the violence in Ukraine.

"Escalation of the crisis endangers the future of Ukraine and threatens with a complete destabilization of the country," said a joint statement  on Ukraine's situation issued by the group.

Leaders of the group, who met Wednesday evening in Budapest, said they were calling on Europe to assist both the Ukrainian government and the opposition in finding a common ground.

They called on all Ukrainians to preserve a stable, democratic and unified Ukraine, adding that authorities needed to respect the right of Ukrainians to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

"Only a genuine and meaningful national dialogue can offer a way out of the crisis and pave the way for the rebuilding of trust and lead toward a stable, democratic and prosperous Ukraine," the statement said.

"A key issue is that Europe should not turn its back on Ukraine because of the difficulties," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said at a joint press conference following the meeting.

He said that the Visegrad Group would turn to Brussels for recommendations on ending the conflict.

Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that he had asked interior minister to set up an operative corps with a mind to the border his country shares with Ukraine and a Hungarian minority living in the border region that could be at risk if animosities continue.

He said he had also asked the minister "to prepare the country for a situation in which matters in Ukraine take an unfavorable turn."

Protests in Ukraine turned violent about 11 days ago, when radical activists attacked riot police with fireworks and petrol bombs.

Mass protests started in Ukraine last November, following a government decision to put on hold an association agreement with the European Union and opt for closer relations with Russia.

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