Minister Donohoe calls on all sides in Ukraine hostilities to desist from violence

19th February, 2014

Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Wednesday) deplored the outbreak of violence in Ukraine, calling on all sides to refrain from hostilities.

Minister Donohoe went on to say that the EU has an important role to play in encouraging all sides to end the violence.

“The scenes we are witnessing from Kiev are shocking and very distressing. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of those who have been caught up in the violence, which has resulted in the loss of lives on all sides.

“The EU Foreign Affairs Council, on 10th February, expressed alarm over the human rights situation in Ukraine, including violence, cases of missing persons, torture and intimidation, and deplored the deaths and injuries sustained.

“The Council made clear that the authorities should take all necessary steps to protect the fundamental rights of Ukrainian citizens and that the continuous targeting of organisers and participants of peaceful protests should cease immediately.

“The outbreak of violence yesterday, following what appeared to be positive steps in recent days, means that further efforts are necessary to find a durable solution to the current political crisis.

“The European Union remains committed to supporting Ukraine’s reform course and is ready to further pursue its efforts with the international community and international financial institutions to assist Ukraine to find a sustainable way out of its difficult economic situation.

“The OSCE and Council of Europe also have potentially important roles to play in facilitating a negotiated way out of the crisis. I met with the peaceful protestors in Independence Square late last year when I visited Kiev and am appalled by the scenes we are witnessing today. It is of critical importance that any further violence is prevented and that those accountable for the violation of human rights are held to account.

“I welcome the fact that an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council meeting has been called in Brussels tomorrow, which will be attended by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, to discuss matters in the Ukraine and to chart the best way forward.”