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EU says financial help is available for Ukraine if it reforms

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EU says financial help is available for Ukraine if it reforms

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As anti-government protesters downed tools and marched on Kyiv’s Independence Square on Thursday, an EU Commissioner said financial aid is available for Ukraine but only if it reforms.

The one-hour, nationwide strike was called by opposition leader and ex-boxing champion Vladimir Klitschko.

Both he and President Viktor Yanukovych have met EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele who has spent three days in Kyiv.

“On the financial assistance, yes there are conditions, very transparent and I would call them reforms, reforms, reforms,” Fuele told a news conference in the capital.

“There is a need to take urgent steps on constitutional reforms, formation of the new inclusive government and ensuring free and fair elections.”

Calls for coalition government aside, Fuele has visited those injured in three months of pro-EU protests, both opposition casualties and wounded police officers.