January 22, 2014 / 3:05 PM / in 5 years

Bildt says Ukraine crisis 'extremely serious', blames government

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) - Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, asked about the European Union’s response to the deadly violence in Ukraine, said on Wednesday that “it won’t be business as usual”.

Bildt, speaking to reporters in Switzerland on the sidelines of an international conference on Syria, said that he saw no signs that the “regime” in Kiev was ready to sit down with the opposition.

The European Union threatened to take action against Ukraine over its handling of anti-government protests after three people died during violent clashes in Kiev.

“It is extremely serious. There is no question that the responsibility lies with the regime. The regime has a responsibility to sit down with the opposition, but unfortunately I don’t see any sign of them doing it,” Bildt said.

Bildt, asked about the EU’s response, replied: “It remains to be seen but certainly not business as usual after this.”

Reporting by John Irish, writing by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Mike Collett-White

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