Europe cannot turn its back on Ukraine, Polish PM says

by Reuters
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 22:02 GMT

BUDAPEST, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Europe must not turn its back on crisis-hit Ukraine and should make proposals leading to a "good solution" to its troubles, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday after a joint meeting of central European prime ministers in Budapest.

Leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, commonly known as the Visegrad Four, adopted a joint statement, strongly condemning the violence in neighbouring Ukraine.

"A further escalation of the crisis endangers the future of Ukraine and threatens with a complete destabilisation of the country," the joint statement said.

Kiev has struggled to calm more than two months of turmoil since President Viktor Yanukovich walked away from a treaty with the European Union.

"The European Union should act consistently in resolving the situation in Ukraine because this is directly linked to the efforts of Ukraine and the EU for them to choose the European way," Tusk told a news conference through an interpreter.

"Therefore, it is vital that we avoid a situation in Europe that we turn our backs on Ukraine, because they are faced with serious problems."

Tusk said Europe should help both the Ukrainian administration and the opposition in finding common ground and avoid what he called dramatic outcomes. Tusk did not elaborate.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who hosted the meeting, said the countries also agreed to arrange an urgent meeting of interior ministers to prepare for any outcome.

"Of course we are also in favour of the good scenarios regarding Ukraine, however, no one can guarantee that today," Orban said. (Reporting by Sandor Peto and Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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