EU has right and duty to stand by people of Ukraine - Barroso
Young people in the cold streets of Kyiv are writing a new story for Europe, and the European Union has the right and duty to support them, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said.
While speaking in Milan on Monday, he said: "Just look at Ukraine. Those young people in the streets of Ukraine, with freezing temperatures, are writing a new narrative for Europe.
An Interfax-Ukraine reporter said that at this point he was interrupted by a long applause, after which Barroso continued: "When we see in the cold streets of Kyiv, men and women with the European flag, fighting for that European flag, it is because they are also fighting for Ukraine and for their future. Because they know that Europe is not just the land of opportunity in terms of economic development, because they have seen what happened in Poland or what happened in the Baltic countries, but also because Europe is the promise of hope and freedom."
In this regard, Barroso said: "I think the European Union has the right and the duty to stand by the people of Ukraine in this very difficult moment, because they are giving to Europe one of the greatest contributions that can be given."
He also said he believes "it is not true" that the European way of development is supported by only Ukrainians from the western part of the country.
"It is not true that is it just in the western part of Ukraine. No, most Ukrainians care about a future of peace and freedom. And I think we have this duty to recognize them today," Barroso said.
Barroso's speech lasted about 20 minutes, but only when he spoke about Ukraine did the audience repeatedly interrupt his speech with applause.