Ukrainian opposition leaders are calling on the West to take action to stop the violence in the country.
As they arrived in Munich for the annual Security Conference, their message was that Europe and the US should go beyond vocal declarations of support for anti-government protesters in Ukraine – with measures that include sanctions.
“Sanctions are the perfect tool to convince the government to stick to the standards of democracy, not dictatorship,” said the Fatherland Party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
But the proposition drew a note of caution from one of the main proponents of the shelved accord between the EU and Ukraine.
“Sanctions tend to be the end of politics and we are in a situation in which the President of Ukraine has made important concessions to the opposition. And the negotiations between the government and the opposition are continuing and we should to everything to encourage them to find a compromise,” said Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski.
Ukraine’s government is represented in Munich by Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara.
What his German counterpart had to say behind closed doors isn’t known. Berlin has recently
increased its criticism of the Kyiv authorities.
“Extraordinarily complicated” was how Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the situation afterwards.
Steinmeier also met Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who has previously warned the West not to interfere in Ukraine.
“Ukraine started high on the agenda here at the Munich Security Conference, but a lot of weight has also been given to Iran, Syria and the situation in the Middle East,” said euronews correspondent in Munich, Fariba Mavaddat.