Vienna, 21 January 2014 – "It is shocking that young demonstrators had to pay with their lives today, simply because they demanded more democracy and expressed their annoyance about the government's refusal to enter into dialogue. My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the victims. The incidents must be investigated promptly and those responsible must be brought to justice", Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said, commenting on the most recent incidents in Ukraine that claimed several deaths.
Protests against the Ukraine government have been escalating since 19 January 2014, after several laws had been passed three days earlier curtailing freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the freedom of assembly and demonstration in Ukraine.
"I call upon all parties to stop violence immediately. There must not be any more deaths. Peaceful demonstrations are an attested right that must be respected by everyone, even in Ukraine. Conflicts cannot be resolved by violence – only serious, top-level dialogue can bring about a solution", Kurz continued and also referred to the role of the Council of Europe in this respect: "I support the announcement made by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and the call for the controversial laws passed by the Ukrainian Parliament in a questionable manner last week to be subjected to detailed and independent analysis. Austria is currently chairing the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and supports all activities that will lead to an alleviation of the situation in Ukraine."
"We hope that the situation will soon return to calm and that we will be able to work together again to establish closer links between the Ukraine and Europe. This opportunity must not be wasted through violence", Kurz concluded.
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