BRUSSELS The European Union's enlargement commissioner said Ukraine's acting prime minister had assured him on Tuesday that security forces would do everything to avoid using guns against anti-government protesters after a day of violent clashes.
Commissioner Stefan Fuele told a public event in Brussels that he had been shaken by pictures of clashes in Kiev, where nine people died in the worst day of violence since demonstrations erupted against president Viktor Yanukovich 12 weeks ago.
"I was just on the phone with the acting prime minister, telling him that seeing the Berkut (riot) police with Kalashnikovs is a source of great concern, and he assured me that he himself and the authorities will do everything for those weapons to stay silent," the commissioner said.
"For the sake of the Ukrainians and for the sake of the future of that country, I will pray that he is right."
(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Writing by Paul Taylor; editing by David Stamp)