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EU's Barroso agrees to meet Ukrainian officials

EU's Barroso agrees to meet Ukrainian officials
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The head of the European Commission has agreed to meet with a delegation from Ukraine to discuss closer ties with the EU.

But Jose Manuel Barroso said there would be no re-opening of negotiations on the proposed association agreement or a planned free trade deal.

“Ukrainian authorities should respect of course democratic freedoms and the right of people to demonstrate and at the same time we made an appeal to demonstrators to show restraint and of course this comes as a result of the fact that many many Ukrainians see their future in Europe and they are disappointed from the results of the Vilnius Summit,” Barroso told reporters in Brussels.

Steven Blockmans, a foreign policy analyst at the Centre for European Policy Studies, said the Kiev demonstrations were not only pro-EU, but also a cry for help from opponents of the Yanukovych government.

“I think that the protesters are fighting for both, for the European path of their country which does not necessarily mean or translate automatically into future accession to the European union,” he said.

“I think that this modernisation drive is what really spears the protests as indeed an objection to the current state of politics as it is being conducted by the current leadership in Ukraine.”

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