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Barroso says EU ready to assist Russia-Ukraine peace plan

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - The European Union stands ready to support a fresh peace plan launched by Russia and Ukraine, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Tuesday. "We stand ready to assist the peace plan just launched and we urge all parties to seize this opportunity to de-escalate the crisis and end violence of this developing tragedy," Barroso told a conference of central European prime ministers in Budapest. Referring to an association agreement the EU is planning to sign with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, Barroso said: "This week on the 27th of June we are going to sign this agreement, not only the remaining part with Ukraine, but also the full agreement with Georgia and Moldova, which shows that the EU is giving a helping hand to other parts of Europe that do not yet enjoy all the benefits of European integration." (Reporting by Krisztina Than and Gergely Szakacs)