Tánaiste welcomes agreement in Ukraine21 February 2014
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., made the following statement on the agreement of a settlement of the crisis in Ukraine:
“I warmly welcome the news that there has been an agreement reached in Kiev today. I hope this will bring an end to the appalling scenes of violence that we have witnessed on the streets there this week.
"An immediate end to the violence and bloodshed must be the first priority. I would urge all sides to show the utmost restraint, avoid all provocations and do everything possible to restore calm on the streets. It is high time for an end to repression and use of force. The commitment of the Government to use law-enforcement forces exclusively to protect public buildings is a welcome contribution to efforts to calm the crisis on the streets.
"It is important that there are clear timeframes for fulfilment of the commitments that have been set out in the agreement signed today. It is also important that there are witnesses from the international community, Russia as well as the EU, to the commitments that have been made.
"I pay tribute to the work of my German, French and Polish counterparts who travelled to Kiev on behalf of the EU and helped broker this agreement. During the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council on Ukraine in Brussels yesterday we were kept regularly informed of the progress that was being made.
"The media focus has largely been on our decision at that meeting to impose targeted sanctions. But the EU also made clear that any lasting solution to the political crisis must include constitutional reform, the formation of a new inclusive government and the creation of the conditions for democratic elections. These are central elements of the agreement that has now been reached in Kiev.
"As I said in Brussels yesterday, the current crisis in Ukraine began following decisions about an agreement between the Union and Ukraine. It is only right, therefore, that the EU should play an active role in finding a solution that is democratic, lasting and fulfils the legitimate aspirations of the Ukrainian people.”
21 February, 2014