EU head Van Rompuy to visit Kiev Monday: official

Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe (L) and EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy give a press conference on May 7, 2014 at the EU Headquarters in Brussels following the 22nd summit meeting between the European Union and Japan. (AFP PHOTO GEORGES GOBET)

BRUSSELS: European Council President Herman Van Rompuy will visit Kiev on Monday in a gesture of support ahead of key May 25 presidential elections, a statement said.

Van Rompuy will "continue talks on how to stabilise the situation in Ukraine ahead of the presidential elections ... how to put an end to violence in Ukraine and how to create an inclusive national dialogue," said the statement on Thursday.

Van Rompuy's host, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is due in turn to visit Brussels on Tuesday.

This is the first trip to Kiev for Van Rompuy, whose European Council groups the European Union's political leadership.

Senior EU officials and politicians were active visitors to Kiev as protests mounted earlier this year against pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych who at the last minute scrapped an association accord with the EU in November.

EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton was prominent among them and went several times.

Monday also sees EU foreign ministers meet in Brussels to discuss possible further sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis and its annexation of Crimea.





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