EU's Ashton urges Russian understanding, support on Ukraine

Source: Reuters - Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:29 GMT
Author: Reuters
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KIEV, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Russia should behave like a good neighbour towards Ukraine and let it move forward in the way it chooses after three months of unrest and conflict, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Tuesday.

Ashton, the first senior foreign official to visit Kiev since the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich as president, said the EU understood the need for strong links between Russia and the former Soviet republic, but that a strong message should be sent about Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Voicing "strong support" for Ukraine's new leaders at a news conference, Ashton urged them to form an "inclusive" government and focus on getting the country through short-term problems.

She spelled out no details of any foreign financial assistance, saying the EU would work with the International Monetary Fund but the IMF would make its own assessment of the situation.

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