Czech Foreign Minister says he is shocked at violence in Kiev


23.01.2014 13:45

Prague - Outgoing Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout said today he is shocked at violence in Kiev streets and that he regrets losses of lives, and he called on the Ukrainian government to avoid violence, release detained activists and redirect the police to provocateurs.


Jan Kohout, někdejší ministr zahraničí v úřednické vládě Jana Fischera v letech 2009 až 2010, hovoří s novináři 26. června u Kramářovy vily, kde se setkal s premiérem Jiřím Rusnokem. ČTK Šulová Kateřina

The street fighting between anti-government radicals and riot police that have continued for several days claimed the first lives. Authorities speak about two dead people while anti-government activists mention five to seven victims.

"I am turning to the President of Ukraine to work for the abolition of the legislation drastically restricting the freedom of expression and assembly whose passing last week resulted in the stepping up of the demonstrations," Kohout wrote in a statement.

At the same time he called on leaders of the democratic opposition to make "maximal possible" use of dialogue to calm down the situation and stop violence.

"I regret the loss of the young lives and I express sympathy to their families. I am shocked at the extent of violence in Kiev streets," he wrote.

He wrote that the Czech Republic was one of the initiators of the conclusions EU foreign ministers made on Monday.

"It has long supported the transformation process in Ukraine and the Ukrainian democratic activists and it will continue to do so," Kohout wrote.

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