17 April 2014
At its sitting on 17 April, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning Russia’s actions aimed at destabilisation of eastern Ukraine and calling for tighter sanctions against Russia. It also welcomed the signing of the political part of Ukraine’s Association Agreement and called on the parties to sign the full agreement in time. According to the resolution, the Association Agreements with Ukraine and the other Eastern Partnership countries do not constitute the final goal in their relations with the EU. It further points out that as per Article 49 of the Treaty on the European Union, like any other European state, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have a European perspective and may apply to become members of the European Union provided that they adhere to the principles of democracy, respect fundamental freedoms and human and minority rights and ensure the rule of law.
18 April 2014
It is extremely important that concrete steps agreed in Geneva to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine are implemented immediately, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in Geneva following announcement of the agreement last night. “We want to see this happen so that we can see things achieved,” she said.
The statement agreed in Geneva by representatives of the EU, US, Ukraine and Russia, says illegal armed groups in Ukraine must be disarmed, and occupied buildings vacated. It also agrees an amnesty for all anti-government protesters, except those guilty of capital crimes. A special monitoring mission from the OSCE will assist the parties in the immediate implementation of the measures, with the EU, US and Russia committing to support the mission.
Ashton said it had been important to bring all the parties together to begin a process of dialogue, with frank and constructive discussions to find practical ways to reduce the tension, adding, “this is the best way to find a way out of the current crisis”.
The EU High Representative said the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission would play a key role in assisting the Ukrainian authorities and local authorities to take the necessary measures that they have to take.
Ashton stressed the EU’s commitment to the unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well its continued efforts to “stabilise the situation in Ukraine economically, financially and politically”.
She welcomed Ukraine’s commitment to conduct an inclusive and transparent constitutional process, and said that free and fair Presidential elections on 25 May were the best way to express the will of the people of Ukraine – adding, “we want to see all candidates behaving well and being treated with great respect in that process.” (EU Neighbourhood Info)