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Published on December 19, 2013
Press briefing by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman (excerpts)

Paris, December 18, 2013


Q. – What’s your reaction to the agreements between Kiev and Moscow?

THE SPOKESMAN – As Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, “what we want is for Ukraine to decide freely”.

He added that the path to the Association Agreement with the European Union was compatible with continued good relations with Russia.

Mrs Catherine Ashton repeated this on 16 December following the EU Foreign Affairs Council: “Our association and free trade agreements are fully compatible with existing trade agreements and respect the traditional links between Russia and its neighbours.”

Q. – What do you think of the deepening political crisis in Ukraine?

THE SPOKESMAN – Our position is steadfast: France appeals for dialogue and challenges any use of violence. We emphasize our commitment to respect for fundamental freedoms, particularly the right to demonstrate peacefully.

Q. – Does France intend to offer its mediation to resolve this crisis?

THE SPOKESMAN – France is closely following the development of the political situation in Ukraine.

We have regular dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities on the one hand and the main opposition leaders on the other. For example, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had a telephone conversation on 11 December with Mr Vitali Klitschko, head of the OUDAR party.

The EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Mrs Catherine Ashton, also visited Ukraine last week on behalf of all Europeans. She had a number of meetings and passed on her analysis to the member states at the Foreign Affairs Council of 16 December. We welcome her involvement. (…)./.

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