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Barroso Says EU Won't Take Sides In Ukraine

Barroso (right) with Yushchenko today in Brussels (official site) April 17, 2007 -- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says Brussels will not take sides in Ukraine's political crisis and urges both parties to seek compromise.

Barroso was speaking after meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in Brussels.

Barroso says he urged the Ukrainian president to find a compromise in his power struggle with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, and "to pursue efforts to find with all key parties a viable solution to the situation in full respect [for] the principles of democracy and the rule of law."

Speaking after the meeting, Yushchenko said he is determined to seek a "democratic resolution" to the crisis and added that he is not considering the use of force.

Yanukovych, meanwhile, is in Strasbourg, France, today to address the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly about the crisis.

On April 2, Yushchenko dissolved parliament and called new elections for May 27. Yanukovych has refused to honor the decree, saying it is illegal. He warned of a "dangerous civil conflict and deep economic crisis" if the standoff dragged on.

The prime minister and his allies have appealed to Ukraine's Constitutional Court, which began hearing the case today.

(Reuters, AP, AFP)

Ukrainian Voices

Ukrainian Voices

RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service asked people on the streets of Kyiv on April 11 whether the Constitutional Court will be able to determine the constitutionality of the president's decree dissolving parliament.

Oksana, a student from Lutsk:
"Their decision will at any rate be beneficial to one of the political forces."

Oleksandr, a high-school student:
"[The court] will be able to do it, but only if the judges agree upon it."

Alla Asilyevna, a pensioner:
"How can the Constitutional Court solve the problem if there is pressure on it from all sides?"

Ivan Yukhimovich, a pensioner:
"If [Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych and [President Viktor]Yushchenko find an agreement, everything will be resolved."

Yuliya, a worker:
"I doubt very much that the judges will agree on anything."

RFE/RL's coverage of Ukraine. The Ukrainian-language website of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service.