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Venizelos heads to Ukraine, seeking to prevent civil war and return to Cold War

Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, whose country currently holds the European Union presidency, will travel to Ukraine on Sunday, the Italian news agency ANSA reported in an interview with the minister.

Venizelos will first travel to the city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov near Crimea, where there is a large ethnic-Greek community, and then to Kiev, it said.

"The first thing is to avoid a civil war and avoid a return to the Cold War, said Venizelos, who is also Greece's deputy prime minister and was taking part in a congress of European social-democrats in Rome.

"The second is to organise the situation internally with an inclusive government. Inclusive not just in the political and social sense but also in regional and ethnic terms, he said.

The next priority is to organise a global plan for the economic and financial situation in Ukraine with the participation of all parties including the EU, US and Russia to avoid an uncontrolled default not just of the economy but of the state and of civil society, he said.

The minister's comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin won the green light from parliament to send troops into Ukraine after a bloody three-month uprising swept new pro-EU leaders to power while also sparking unrest in the pro-Kremlin Crimean peninsula.

[AFP]

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