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Foreign Minister Steinmeier on the situation in Ukraine: remaining chances of political solution not yet exhausted

26.01.2014

Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (26 January) on the situation in Ukraine:

As we can see in the televised images emerging from Kyiv and many other parts of Ukraine on a daily basis, the situation is not just tense; it is really serious. The next few days could decide in what direction Ukraine is going to take its future.

There is in my view only one thing we can advise from here, namely that Ukraine’s road to an autonomously determined future will definitely not be reached via violence, whosoever perpetrates it. It is my belief that, however difficult the situation may be, the last remaining chances of a political solution have not yet been exhausted. They need to be sought.

There are clear ways of starting that search, as I see things: the proposals for stricter laws on restricting political options for parties and individuals, which fly in the face of all Ukraine’s regulations, need to be brought back to the table – they need to be withdrawn or at least fundamentally altered.

The Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, will convene on Tuesday coming. That will be an opportunity for Ukraine’s political leaders to demonstrate sincerity in their offers to the Opposition.

We are in close contact with representatives of both sides, members of the Opposition as well as members of the Government. I will be engaged in further talks this afternoon. We are liaising closely with Catherine Ashton and those working on behalf of the European Union to try and prevent further deterioration.

Refrain from violence and make every effort to seek a political solution – that, I believe, is what needs to be done at this time.

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