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Statement of V4 Foreign Ministers on the situation in Ukraine

The countries of the Visegrad Group reconfirm their strong interest in the political stability and economic prosperity of Ukraine and follow with great concern the events witnessed in the streets of Ukrainian cities since the time of the Vilnius Summit.

The Foreign Ministers highlight their deep belief that the right of the people to demonstrate and express their opinion peacefully is one of the basic principles of the OSCE and the Eastern Partnership, which should be respected.

We strongly reiterate that the use of force, particularly by a government on peaceful protesters, is unacceptable and we call on all parties to refrain from violence. We also call on the Ukrainian authorities to launch a prompt investigation against those responsible for brutality against peaceful demonstrators and demand that the wrongdoers are held accountable. The ministers also urge the Ukrainian authorities to release all those who have been arrested without any evidence of violating the law.

The Visegrad countries believe that it is in the interest of both the Ukrainian government and the opposition to preserve stability and to work for the fastest possible peaceful resolution of the current crisis. The ministers urge the political leaders to seek a solution through dialogue, involving the representatives of the government, civil society and the opposition. They call for European Union mediation between the parties.

The Visegrad countries lend full support to HR/VP Ashton's endeavour in Kiev to help Ukraine find a constructive way out of the current crisis and to confirm the importance of the intensive EU - Ukrainian dialogue.

The Foreign Ministers of the Visegrad countries confirm their conviction that every country has the right to make a choice on the country's engagement it seeks with the European Union, free from outside pressure. In adopting such a decision, the political leadership has a responsibility to take into consideration the opinion of the people.

The Visegrad countries reconfirm their position voiced at the Vilnius Summit that the door remains open for Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union as soon as our Ukrainian partners will be able and ready to do so. The Visegrad countries are committed to continue providing assistance to Ukraine in strengthening its relations with the European Union, reform course and its modernisation.