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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Estonia is assisting Ukrainians with help from the Estonian Ukrainian community

21.02.2014

Upon meeting today with the Congress of Ukrainians in Estonia chairperson Vira Konõk and Ukrainian Cultural Centre board member Bogdan Lutjuk, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia will allocate additional assistance to help cover the medical expenses of people affected by the turmoil taking place in Ukraine. Also, the number of scholarships awarded to students from Ukraine to study in Estonian universities will be increased.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that the foreign ministers of the European Union decided yesterday to impose sanctions against those individuals responsible for the violence in Ukraine. “In order to stop the bloodshed immediately and find a lasting solution, it is crucial to continue with talks in Kyiv, along with the participation of European Union representatives,” Paet stated. He continued by saying the EU's foreign ministers are of the opinion that all those responsible for human rights violations in Ukraine must be brought to justice.

Paet confirmed that both Estonia and the European Union believe that in order to find a solution to the conflict situation and restore confidence, constitutional reform, the formation of a new inclusive government and the creation of conditions for democratic elections are necessary. “The European Union's bid for political association and economic integration for Ukraine, including support for reforms, remains on the table,” Paet stated.

The foreign ministry decided to support people injured in the unrest in Ukraine with an additional 50 000 euros, Paet said. “We are working closely with the Estonian Ukrainian community, so that our aid is as effective and thorough as possible,” he added.

Estonia has already supported providing medical aid to Ukrainians injured in the street violence with 50 000 euros through the non-governmental International Renaissance Foundation. “By supporting aid workers on site, we can be sure our support reaches as many people in need in Ukraine as possible,” the foreign minister was quoted as saying. The International Renaissance Foundation was founded in 1990 with the support of philanthropist George Soros. It supports the development of an open society in Ukraine, including a strong civil society, social justice and equal opportunities.

Photos from the meeting: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/sets/721576413004....


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