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Estonia and Other EU Foreign Ministers Express Concern about Developments in Ukraine

20.01.2014

Today in Brussels, the foreign ministers of the European Union member states expressed grave concern about the legal acts approved by the Ukrainian government on 16 January, which groundlessly restrict the fundamental rights of citizens and greatly curtail the activities of civil society as well as the media and press. “The adoption of these changes into law threatens efforts to solve the political crisis in Ukraine with democratic measures and is in opposition with the state’s international obligations,” stated Foreign Minister Paet.

According to Foreign Minister Paet, the foreign policy heads of the European Union member states expressed concern about the violence between security forces and demonstrators in Kiev. “The rushed adoption of laws in Ukraine certainly won’t help to improve the current situation but are likely to cause an even larger conflict in Ukrainian society,” he stressed.

Paet added that, in the current situation, the sides have to exhibit restraint and the Ukrainian authorities must respect and defend not only the right of peaceful demonstrators to assemble but also the freedoms of speech and of the press.

The European Union foreign policy heads called on all sides to find a democratic solution to the political crisis which corresponds to the expectations of the Ukrainian people, and ensure that the legal changes are brought into accordance with Ukraine’s international obligations.

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