The Foreign and European Affairs Ministry appealed to all participants of protests in Ukraine on both sides – protesters and armed forces – to abstain from violence, calling on the country’s bodies and all those involved to respect the right of citizens to assemble in a January 22 statement. The ministry thus reacted in an official statement on January 22. In Ukraine, two protestors were shot and killed.

In an interview with the Sme daily, Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said that he cannot imagine that the European Union would not react in the situation when protesters are shot at. If it is confirmed that government police shot them dead the Union has to act. Sanctions should be aimed against people who are responsible for the violence – not only directly, as commanders, but also politically. He explained that travel restrictions and freezing accounts of responsible persons are a logical step. At the moment, Lajčák said, he cannot imagine signing the association agreement with Kiev.

Prime Minister Robert Fico also reacted, saying that the Slovak government is shocked by recent developments in neighbouring Ukraine and views as absolutely unacceptable the fact that three protesters have lost their lives. “We want to warn against moves that would facilitate a further escalation in tension and violence and would hamper efforts to resolve the situation at the negotiating table,” he said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. Fico was referring to the latest statements issued by the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office which has confirmed that two people have been shot dead during the anti-government protests in Kiev. Another protester died after falling from the top of a building at the Dynamo Kiev football stadium adjacent to the site of the protests.

Ukraine is deviating from European values and is taking the path of restriction, chairman of the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-SDKÚ party Pavol Frešo said concerning the latest reports about the escalation of protests against the Ukrainian government’s decision to halt its EU-integration efforts that have been taking place since late November.

The opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) expressed “deep concerns” about the death of demonstrators during the ongoing protests in Ukraine. KDH head Ján Figeľ said that KDH “condemns in the strongest possible terms the misuse of force” by the security forces against citizens of its own country.

(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.