Foreign Minister Steinmeier on the situation in Kyiv: pressing need to refrain from violence and create a breathing space

19.02.2014 - Press release

“Yesterday’s outbreak of violence was shocking, and the high number of casualties that the demonstrators and the police suffered last night is dreadful.

Things must not be allowed to keep spiralling; there is a pressing need to create a breathing space. I urgently call on everyone to refrain from violence at this time. That appeal goes to the security forces, but also to the radical elements among the demonstrators.

President Yanukovych, the Government and the security forces have a responsibility to exercise prudence and to de-escalate tensions.

It must be clear to everyone that violence is not a solution by any means; it only makes everything much worse than it already is. President Yanukovych’s tactics of playing for time have cost Ukraine dearly. Refusing to engage in serious talks about peaceful conflict resolution and constitutional reform was a big mistake on his part.

However difficult it may be in view of yesterday’s outbreak of violence, the priority must now be to create the necessary conditions for restarting the process of political negotiation.”

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