EU: no bidding war over Ukraine

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EU: no bidding war over Ukraine

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The EU has said it will not engage in a bidding war with Russia over Ukraine.

Moscow pledged 11 billion euros of aid to the cash-strapped former Soviet state after the Ukrainian government pulled out an EU trade deal in November.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters: “We are not going to a bidding competition to say who pays more for a signature of Ukraine.”

Barroso’s statement came amid reports that Brussels and Washington may be poised to put forward some form of aid package to cash-strapped Ukraine.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is expected in Kyiv on Tuesday for talks with government and opposition leaders.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara has indicated that the government is open to some reform: “We can discuss some changes in the form of administration, and President Yanukovych confirmed that he is ready to discuss those, like changing a form of the administration from the presidential republic to a parliamentary-presidential one.”