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European ministers in Kiev for key talks

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European ministers in Kiev for key talks
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says the EU is preparing sanctions against Ukraine on Thursday. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP
10:34 CET+01:00
Talks between the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland and the Ukrainian president will go ahead on Thursday despite security risks. France says the EU is preparing to impose sanctions on Kiev over the use of violence. Stay with us for regular updates.

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French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday that the European Union was preparing to impose targeted sanctions against those behind Ukraine's violence.

His words come as the violence continued in Kiev and reportedly left at least ten people dead in Independence Square overnight.

Speaking to Europe 1 radio from Ukraine before meeting with President Viktor Yanukovych, Fabius said he would present plans for sanctions against certain officials, including visa bans and the freezing of assets.

"We need to hit people in the pocketbooks in these cases," said Fabius, who was joined in Ukraine for the talks by his German and Polish counterparts, ahead of a meeting of all EU foreign ministers later Thursday.

"I will tell him (Yanukovych) that he must stop the violence, which is obviously unacceptable, and that we are preparing this afternoon to take sanctions against those responsible for the violence," Fabius said.

He expressed doubts over the willingness of Ukraine's government to compromise.

"There is an enormous amount of work to do but we are confronted with the obvious unwillingness of the authorities, who for now are not budging."

In a separate interview with France's BFMTV, Fabius said his goal was to move Ukrainian authorities toward holding elections

"There is no other solution but to move toward elections, the people must be turned to," he said.

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