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Schulz on Ukraine: further bloodshed must be avoided at all costs

European Parliament President Martin Schulz made the following statement on the deadly clashes in Ukraine: "A tragedy is unfolding in Ukraine. The failure of authorities to engage in genuine dialogue has led to renewed violence and deaths of many protesters and police. It is deeply shocking and unacceptable. It requires a strong and urgent action.

The Ukrainian authorities are about to lose all legitimacy. The current authorities in Ukraine need to make space for a transitional government of national unity and early elections in order to bring back the legitimacy of national authorities.

The people should express their views with voting cards, not with stones and clubs. Further bloodshed must be avoided at all costs. I call on the authorities to call off the riot police. The opposition should also refrain from violence and avoid succumbing to provocation. I know it is difficult now but dialogue must resume.

On the European Union side, what we need urgently is a threat of credible targeted sanctions against those involved in human rights violations. We also need a credible offer of important financial aid if the situation is resolved peacefully and a political solution is found. The Ukrainian people deserve all of our support. I am convinced that at the end of the road history will be on their side.

The European Parliament's Conference of Presidents will discuss Ukraine tomorrow as a matter of urgency. I have invited European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle for a debate on further EU strategy."