published: 19.02.2014, 18:17 | updated: 19.02.2014 18:19:25
Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman said today he may cancel the invitation to visit Prague he extended to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych if the situation in Ukraine escalates.
Zeman said it is not possible to invite a politician of a country where people are dying in the streets, adding that the task of every politician is to secure the peace for their citizens.
Zeman, speaking at a press conference at the end of his three-day visit to the South Bohemia Region, said he will be closely watching the developments in Ukraine.
Minimally 25 people have died in violent clashes between the demonstrators and the police since Tuesday.
Zeman invited Yanukovych to the Czech Republic last autumn still before Ukraine turned down association agreements with the European Union. This unleashed a new wave of demonstrations in Kiev.
Yanukovych´s visit was to follow up a summit of the EU Eastern Partnership in Prague in April.
Hynek Kmonicek, head of the Czech Presidential Office foreign department, received Ukrainian ambassador Borys Zaychuk today to convey to him Zeman´s opinion that only an early general election and a presidential election can resolve the situation in Ukraine.
Zeman today clearly dismissed violence on both sides of the Ukrainian conflict.
Yanukovych should put end to violence - Czechs to ambassador
It is up to President Viktor Yanukovych to issue orders to the armed forces to end the violence in Ukraine, Presidential Office foreign department head Hynek Kmonicek told Ukrainian ambassador Borys Zaychuk, conveying Czech President Milos Zeman's position to him today.
Zaychuk promised to immediately pass the message to Ukraine.
Kmonicek repeated that Czech diplomacy condemned violence on both sides of the Ukrainian conflict, both on the side of the government and the anti-government activists.
"It believes that the instruments to resolve the problem are fully in the hands of President Yanukovych," Kmonicek.
"It is up to him to issue the relevant orders to the armed forces to immediately end the conflict," he added.
"In this role, no protagonist can replace him. It is Yanukovych who holds the decision-making power as well as political and human responsibility he must assume," Kmonicek said.
He repeated Zeman's view that early parliamentary and presidential elections were the only solution to the Ukrainian political crisis.
Kmonicek said Zaychuk himself was shocked at the escalation of the violence between the demonstrators and the government armed forces.
The latest clashes between the protesters and armed forces in the centre of Kiev have claimed 25 lives.
The USA has asked Yanukovych to withdraw the government units suppressing demonstrations from the Kiev streets.
The EU should rapidly agree on targeted measures against those who are responsible for the violence in Ukraine, President of the European Commission. Jose Barroso said today.
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