Tánaiste condemns the violence in Ukraine19 February 2014
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., will attend an extraordinary meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels tomorrow to discuss the worsening crisis in Ukraine.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Tánaiste said:
“I am appalled at the most recent outbreak of violence yesterday which has reportedly left more than twenty people dead and many hundreds injured. I have been following developments in Ukraine with deepening concern.
Tomorrow, I will attend the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels to discuss the worsening crisis. The EU has identified the formation of a new and inclusive government; progress on constitutional reform and the preparation for transparent and democratic presidential elections as the key elements needed to restore peace.
From the outset the EU has been actively involved in facilitating the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis. We have stressed the obligations of the authorities to respect and protect the fundamental rights of the Ukrainian people and stated that a democratic solution must be sought through inclusive dialogue. In support of this, High Representative Ashton has made several visits to Kiev.
It is clear that the use of force, from whichever quarter, cannot resolve the political crisis in Ukraine. It is vital that immediate steps are taken to calm the rising tension. Both sides have a shared responsibility to build trust and to create the conditions necessary to chart a way forward through dialogue in the parliament rather than confrontation in the streets. Further bloodshed will exacerbate this serious crisis and make it even more difficult to reach a political solution, to which all sides say they are committed.
President Yanukovych and his Government have a particular responsibility to engage with the opposition leaders urgently and to do everything possible to restore calm.”
19 February 2014