News / Europe

    Foreign Ministers to Visit Kyiv Before EU Meeting

    French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Feb. 19, 2014.
    French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius leaves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Feb. 19, 2014.
    Scott StearnsLisa Bryant
    Foreign Ministers from France, Germany, and Poland will travel to Kyiv Thursday before an emergency European Union meeting to consider sanctions against Ukrainian leaders for violence authorities say has killed at least 26 people.  

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says he will travel with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.

    "We shall meet tomorrow morning the different elements, the different actors in Kiev," he told a news conference. "And stemming from that we shall encourage them to find a way of dialogue. And stemming from that we will be back in Brussels to take decisions that are necessary."



    Fabius spoke to reporters in Paris before meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych has a choice.

    "The choice is between protecting the people that he serves, all of the people, and a choice for compromise and dialogue versus violence and mayhem," Kerry said.

    He said Washington is also considering sanctions against Ukrainian leaders "in order to create the environment for compromise."

    "Our desire is for Mr. Yanukovych to bring people together, dialog with the opposition, find a measure of compromise, and put the broad interests of the people of Ukraine out front," Kerry said. "We are convinced there is still space for that to happen.  The violence can be avoided, and in the end the aspirations of the people of Ukraine can be met."

    Aides say President Barack Obama is being kept informed about the Kyiv situation while in Mexico for a meeting late Wednesday with the Mexican and Canadian leaders.

    According to deputy U.S. National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, Washington believes the threat of sanctions could induce better behavior from Ukrainian leaders.

    He said Wednesday's violent crackdown on protestors clearly impacts U.S. decision making.  If on the other hand, the government pulls back, releases prisoners and pursues dialogue with the opposition, he said, that would obviously factor into the Obama administration's calculus as well.

    Hollande, Merkel back sanctions

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French president François Hollande give a press conference on Feb. 19, 2014 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French president François Hollande give a press conference on Feb. 19, 2014 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
    x
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French president François Hollande give a press conference on Feb. 19, 2014 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French president François Hollande give a press conference on Feb. 19, 2014 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
    Earlier Wednesday, during a joint news conference in Paris,  French and German leaders announced their backing for targeted sanctions.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said both countries agree the European Union should slap sanctions against those behind Ukraine's worst violence to date.  Merkel would not say whether Ukraine's leader Victor Yanukovych should count among those targeted by possible EU sanctions.

    "The political process must be relaunched, because only the political process can contribute to reestablishing peace," Merkel told reporters, "and we are searching all the contacts possible, including in the direction of Russia."

    French President Francois Hollande said the bloc can't remain passive in the face of the bloodshed in Kyiv.

    "Ukraine is not in Europe [as in the European union], but Ukraine is in Europe [geographically],"  Hollande said.

    Anti-Yanukovych protests began in late November after the Ukrainian president backed away from closer political and economic ties to the European Union in favor of a $15 billion bailout from Russia.

    Russia has repeatedly warned European powers to stay out of the affairs of the former Soviet republic.  EU sanctions to be considered Thursday in Brussels include a freeze on assets and a travel ban within the 28-member bloc.

    Photo Gallery: Protesters, Police Clash in Kyiv

    • Anti-government protesters sing the national anthem as they gather at a barricade, central Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
    • An anti-government protester throws a Molotov cocktail during clashes with riot police, Independence Square, Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 19, 2014.
    • A woman carries sandwiches as anti-government protesters gather in Independence Square, central Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
    • An anti-government protester stands behind a barricade during clashes with riot police in Independence Square, Kyiv, Ukraine, Feb. 19, 2014.
    • Anti-government protesters gather in Independence Square in central Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
    • A man who was injured during clashes between anti-government protesters, Interior Ministry members and riot police receives medical treatment inside Mikhailovsky Zlatoverkhy Cathedral (St. Michael's golden-domed cathedral), Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
    • Riot police officers spray anti-government protesters with water in Independence Square in central Kyiv, Feb. 19, 2014.
    • Anti-government protesters throw stones towards Interior Ministry officers during a rally, near Parliament, in Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
    • Anti-government protesters throw stones at the office of the pro-presidential Party of the Regions, Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
    • Anti-government protesters escort an unidentified man after attacking an office of the pro-presidential Party of the Regions, Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
    • A woman carries stones during clashes between anti-government protesters and Interior Ministry members, Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.
    • Anti-government protesters burn the Party of the Regions flags, calendars and booklets during a rally, Kyiv, Feb. 18, 2014.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora