Vienna, 11 December 2013 – Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger appealed to the Ukraine leadership today to resolve the political crisis amicably and to refrain from using violence against the peaceful demonstrators. "The Ukraine government and the country's civil society as well as the opposition forces have to agree on a mutually acceptable resolution of the crisis. We do not want to see violence escalate in Kiev. This would set Ukraine back to dark times", Spindelegger said, referring to the right of freedom of opinion and freedom of assembly: "We consider Ukraine to be an important part of Europe. The country will have to observe European values and the fundamental principles of the OSCE and the Council of Europe. This applies even more so as Ukraine is chairing the OSCE until the end of this year."
The Austrian Vice-Chancellor emphasised that the EU would still be prepared to sign the association agreement with Ukraine provided the respective prerequisites are met. "The agreement with the EU would push Ukraine ahead on its route towards economic and social modernisation – a route that the majority of Ukrainians are ready to take. A modern Ukraine with European standards would play the role of a pioneer within the Eastern Partnership and create a win-win situation for everybody", Spindelegger said.
Contact:Federal Ministry for European and International AffairsPress Department Tel.: +43 (0) 50 1150-3320Fax: +43 (0) 50 1159-213 abti3(at)bmeia.gv.atwww.mfa.at