Sofia, 6. December 2004 Press release

OSCE Meeting in Sofia: Foreign Minister Plassnik meets Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko

06.12.2004

Plassnik: Implement round-table agreements as quickly as possible

Sofia, 6 December 2004 - During a meeting with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko in the margins of the OSCE Meeting of Foreign Ministers in Sofia, Minister Plassnik brought up the subject of the crisis in Ukraine. The Foreign Minister expressed her satisfaction about the fact that last Friday’s decision by Ukraine’s Supreme Court has opened the way for a repetition of the second round in Ukraine. Plassnik also expressed the hope that the repeat election could be held on 26 December as planned and that this time all relevant European and international standards would be respected.

"I assume that Austria will participate once again by sending election observers to join the international observation mission under OSCE leadership on 26 December", said the Foreign Minister.

Plassnik also emphasised to her Ukrainian counterpart how important it was to implement all the round-table agreements to overcome the crisis in Ukraine as quickly as possible. "This challenge concerns both the government and the opposition", said the Foreign Minister.

Despite all the difficulties, "several positive signals" can be read from the events in Ukraine, as Foreign Minister Plassnik underlined: "The fact that the Ukrainian people are now getting a second chance to express their democratic will in an unrestricted and transparent way is the result of joint efforts made by the Ukrainian citizens, international actors such as the OSCE and the EU and the functioning of structures under the rule of law in Ukraine itself."