Ukrainian government calls protest 'coup attempt' as sanctions debate emerges
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 01:33
Feb. 19 - After a deadly day of protests, the Ukrainian government calls protest ''an attempt to seize power.'' Meanwhile, other countries are calling for sanctions. Nathan Frandino reports.
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Ukrainian authorities say the protesters in Kiev who have been throwing bricks at the police and preparing Molotov cocktails are not demonstrating for democracy.
Instead, they're engaging in a coup.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN INTERIM PRIME MINISTER, SERHIY ARBUZOV, SAYING:
"This was not a demonstration of democracy or a political action. It is the manipulation of people's minds and an attempt to seize power by force. Such methods have never led to conflict resolution in any country. They can only lead to disaster."
The statement comes after at least two dozen people were killed in violent clashes.
The violence has drawn widespread international criticism.
In Poland, Prime Minister Donald Tusk is calling for financial sanctions.
(SOUNDBITE) (Polish) POLISH PRIME MINISTER DONALD TUSK SAYING:
"I hope that such a stance from Poland will help the EU as a whole in taking fast decisions. I still think that the efforts made by the European Union as a whole will be much more effective, better for Ukraine and safer for Poland than efforts made alone."
In Belgium, the European Investment Bank has frozen EU bank activities in Ukraine.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK PRESIDENT WERNER HOYER, SAYING:
"And I think that it will be completely the wrong signal to appear as being the ones who do business as usual in Ukraine, while the people on the streets of Kiev, by whom and why ever, are being slaughtered."
The bank's finance contracts with Ukraine total nearly $3 billion since 2007.
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