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Canada condemns 'terror attacks' in Ukraine

29 april 2012, 10:32
Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird. ©REUTERS/Patrick Doyle
Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird. ©REUTERS/Patrick Doyle
Canada's top diplomat on Friday condemned what he called "terror attacks" in Ukraine after four successive blasts shook the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk, AFP reports.

"Canada condemns these cowardly acts without reservation and supports efforts to bring those responsible to justice swiftly," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement.

Canada, he said, "denounces terrorism in all its forms and stands with those engaged in fighting it."

However, Baird also said an investigation into the incidents must be "fair and free of political interference" and encouraged Kiev "not to use this unfortunate situation as a pretext to curtail basic freedoms like freedom of expression" in the country.

At least 27 people were injured Friday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk in four successive blasts that President Viktor Yanukovych called a challenge to the nation.

The explosions in the home town of Yanukovych's jailed opponent and 2004 Orange Revolution leader Yulia Tymoshenko come ahead of the Euro 2012 football championship that Ukraine is co-hosting this summer.

One million Canadians are of Ukrainian descent and Canada was the first Western nation in 1991 to recognize Ukraine independence.

Canada and Ukraine launched free trade talks in 2009 that hinged on Ukraine's democratic and economic reforms.

But Tymoshenko's jailing for abuse of power in a gas deal signed with Russia when she was in power has strained the bilateral relationship.

Canada's prime minister last year warned of "serious consequences" to bilateral relations with Ukraine over Kiev's prosecution of Tymoshenko.

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