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10.12.2013

Catherine Ashton: Attack on Batkivshchyna office risks to derail talks 10

9:29, — Politics

Catherine Ashton: Attack on Batkivshchyna office risks to derail talks

The EU foreign affairs chief calls on the Ukrainian authorities to exercise utmost restraint.

The statement was made amid reports about a police raid on Batkivshchyna headquarters in Kyiv. Catherine Ashton warns the events may derail the negotiation process, RIA Novosti reports.

On the eve of my visit to Kyiv, I follow with concern the reports that police forces forcibly entered the office of the biggest opposition party, Batkivshchyna. These latest events seriously risk to derail the process. I call on the Ukrainian authorities to exercise utmost restraint and refrain from any further use of force, the statement says.

There were reports that the police forcibly entered the office. It was reported later that the attack was carried out by the security services. Both agencies said they hadn't held any operations in Batkivshchyna office. Batkivshchyna office is located at 13 Turovskaya Street. The Interior Ministry later said the police had searched the building and seized computer equipment at the address 19B Turovskaya Street. According to the Interior Ministry, it was done in connection with the investigation under criminal articles over frauds and abuse of power.

Protests in Kyiv against the decision of the authorities to halt preparations for an Association Agreement with the EU have been continuing since November 21. On Monday, the law-enforcement services decided to clear roads in central Kyev from protesters.

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