Statement of Foreign Minister of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius on tonight’s events in Kiev

11 December 2013, Last updated at, 19:08 EET
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author: The Council of the European Union

Tonight’s events in the Independence Square in Kiev have shown the conscious choice that the Ukrainian authorities appear to have taken against the European path, the choice which is opposite to what the President of Ukraine has been saying publicly.

Freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly are fundamental European values and no government that claims to have taken the European path can act against them in such manner that we have been witnessing in Kiev tonight.

The actions of the police against peaceful protesters show not only disrespect to these values but also complete lack of will to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the representatives of the civil society and the opposition who have a clear vision for the European future.

The authorities have also shown publicly that they ignore the calls of the EU and US representatives, now visiting Kiev, not to take any further steps which would aggravate the situation. Actions of the authorities undermine the duties and responsibilities that Ukraine has undertaken as the Chairman in Office of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe.

I repeat my call to the Ukrainian authorities stop any violent actions and provocations immediately, to investigate all cases of violence and to punish those responsible.

The Ukrainian authorities have over a short period of time, especially over this night, lost a lot of credibility. Only by taking the immediate steps to abide by the European values can they start a long way towards reestablishing trust.

We are impressed by the peaceful expression and strong spirit that we have seen in the Independence Square and trust that the European aspirations of the Ukrainian citizens will be fulfilled.

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