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Baird to Visit Ukraine During Protests, Attend OSCE Meeting

December 3, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced that he will visit Ukraine later this week and participate in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council in Kyiv. The visit comes amid the Ukrainian government’s crackdown on mass protests against its decision to suspend negotiations with the European Union.

“These heavy-handed actions are of great concern, not only to Canada but to democracies around the world,” said Baird.

“I am going to Kyiv to personally tell Ukrainian authorities, in no uncertain terms, that their actions do not live up to the democratic standards that the Ukrainian people deserve. While there, I will meet with opposition leaders and civil society representatives to show them Canada’s support.”

During the OSCE Ministerial Council, Minister Baird will meet with representatives of participating states to review the organization’s activities over the past year and provide guidance for the future on human rights, democracy and security issues throughout the region.

“Canada is committed to the values and principles of the OSCE,” said Baird. “We will continue to work with international partners to promote the rights and fundamental freedoms of all.”

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