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European Union leaders issued a joint statement addressing the Ukrainian crisis on Thursday. Becky was in Brussels and spoke to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, to find out how the talks went.
He said that the EU is ready to sign a political association agreement with Ukraine, along with a package of around €11 billion in financial support. In addition, the EU is seeking "unilateral measures of trade giving [Ukraine] access to our markets even before the ratification of all the agreements."
Asked about public opinion in Crimea, Barroso said, "We want the international law to be respected and today I can tell you there was a unanimous position by the 28 heads of state and government of the European Union reaffirming these principles."
He said the most important thing was respecting "the opinion of the people of Ukraine," and supporting "peace and stability.”
He added: "We want to have a constructive relationship with Russia but of course we cannot accept the kind of behaviour that we have seen."
EU leaders met in Brussels on Thursday for an emergency summit aimed at addressing the Ukrainian crisis.
Becky spoke to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to find out how the talks went.
Reinfeldt said that Russia's "unacceptable aggression", is threatening European Union members and that a shift in Russian policy in the region is "potentially dangerous."
He also reiterated the importance of a coordinated response by the EU and the U.S. towards Russia.
The EU has called on direct negotiations between the governments of Ukraine and the Russian Federation to start within the next few days. Failing to do so will lead to sanctions including "travel bans and asset freezes” and the cancellation of an upcoming EU-Russia summit.
Text: U.S. paves way for sanctions over Ukraine, Europe threatens to do same
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