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European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who tried to broker a power-sharing transition, has urged Ukraine’s leadership “to address the root causes of the crisis”.

“I call upon president Yanukovych, the government together with the leaders of the opposition to find an immediate way out of this deepening crisis, and to continue the work to find a way to solve the political crisis through dialogue,” said Ashton.

“As I have said in each of the visits I have made, the European Union stands ready to help in any way that we can,” Ashton added.

German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier warned his Ukrainian counterpart against sliding back into violence. He urged Ukraine to keep working on a political solution.

“Those responsible for making decisions that lead to further bloodshed should know that Europe’s decision on sanctions will be reconsidered for sure,” said Steinmeier

In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney urged Yanukovych to restart a dialogue with opposition leaders.

“We are appalled by the violence that has already taken place in downtown Kyiv and reports of armed riot police massing on the edge of Maidan. We continue to condemn street violence and excessive use of force by either side. Force will not resolve the crisis,” said Carney in a briefing.

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