Didier Reynders concerned about the situation in Ukraine

date: 23 January 2014

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders referred to the statement by the High Representative of the EU, Catherine Ashton, when expressing his shared concern about the rapid deterioration of the situation in Ukraine.

The Minister is shocked that there have been fatalities. He condemns the use of violence, particularly against journalists. He calls upon the police force as well as the demonstrators to show restraint and emphasizes that the authorities have a particular responsibility concerning the actions of the security forces.

He profoundly regrets the accelerated adoption of certain laws that restrict the right to peaceful protest and free speech, that limit the functioning of the independent media and impose new constraints on non-governmental organizations. It is concerning that the human rights NGOs that receive foreign financing are considered as foreign agents.

The Minister calls for a peaceful solution through political dialogue. The EU must continue to play a positive role for this partner country.

Minister Reynders continues to monitor the situation closely. His services have informed the Ukrainian Ambassador in Belgium about his and Belgium’s concern.