Ashton, Yanukovych meet face-to-face

Jan. 29, 2014 at 1:06 PM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met Wednesday with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to discuss the crisis in his country, his office said.

Citing a statement from his office, the National News Agency of Ukraine said the president met in Kiev with Ashton and other European representatives.

There was no statement from the Ashton's spokesperson apart from confirmation of the Wednesday meeting.

Ashton spent about a week in Kiev last month talking with the Ukrainian president. Her December visit followed a November decision from Yanukovych to suspend trade talks with the European Union, sparking demonstrations across Ukraine.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke by phone Tuesday with the Ukrainian president. Biden's office said a new government in Ukraine could help bring unity to a divided country and "take Ukraine in the direction of Europe."

Pro-EU demonstrations in Ukraine turned violent in January after laws were passed restricting protests. Ukrainian lawmakers this week repealed the measures.

Yanukovych this week accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who stepped down to resolve the political crisis.

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