EU's Ashton alarmed by reports that Ukraine plans state of emergency

BRUSSELS Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:29pm EST

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BRUSSELS Jan 27 (Reuters) - The European Union's foreign policy chief on Monday she was alarmed by reports that the Ukrainian government was planning to introduce a state of emergency in the country and pushed forward her visit to Kiev.

"I am alarmed by reports that the government is planning to declare a state of emergency," Catherine Ashton said.

"This would trigger a further downward spiral for Ukraine which would benefit no-one. I also urge the leaders of the opposition to dissociate themselves from those who resort to violence," she said in a statement.

She said she would travel to Kiev for talks on Tuesday evening. "The only solution to the crisis is a political one. What is urgently needed is a genuine dialogue to build a new consensus on the way forward," Ashton said.

"I hope that the Ukrainian parliament will set a clear path during tomorrow's session towards a political solution. This must include revoking the package of laws passed on 16 January," she said.

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