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Hollande, Merkel condemn Kiev violence at Paris meeting

President François Hollande (R) welcomes Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Elysée
President François Hollande (R) welcomes Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Elysée Reuters

French President François Hollande called overnight violence in Kiev unacceptable after meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel Wednesday. "Sanctions could be implemented" by an emergency EU foreign ministers' meeting on Thursday, Merkel said.

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The violence was "unspeakable and unacceptable", Hollande said at a press conference after meeting Merkel and ahead of a joint meeting of the cabinets of France and Germany.

Earlier he called for rapid sanctions against those responsible for "police violence" after a night of violence that led to at least 26 deaths.

Pictures of the clashes were "really shocking", Merkel said, declaring that the German government "sympathise with the people who were on the Maidan", Kiev's central square.

But, while EU officials and Hollande have toughened their line, she called for political dialogue and elections, while adding that "sanctions could be implemented".

As the two were speaking, the Ukraine security services announced an "anti-terrorist" operation across the country.

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