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The European Union's response to the Ukrainian crisis


The European Union's response to the Ukrainian crisis

Video Statement by EU High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini on Ukraine to the European Parliament, 10 February 2014

Statement can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1IMhqZR

Extract on Ukraine from a Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini

at Munich Security Conference, 8 February 2014

….. Let me try to say how I think the European Union can contribute to addressing the many challenges (and the few opportunities) we face and hopefully trying to make the opportunities more than the challenges.

First, by focusing on our immediate and wider neighbourhood. I am convinced that, as Europeans, we can only expect to be a credible global player if we act as a responsible power at our doorstep. Our priority are the many challenges that are most immediate and most urgent. We stand side by side with our partners and friends in the region, in defence against those that seek to undermine their values, their aspirations, their sovereign choices. We support their state building projects, their democratisation, economic reforms, as well as their European and regional integration. It is both a responsibility dictated by history and an interest dictated by geography.

And we do that together, north and south, east and west of the European Union, united. As we know very well our strength comes from a balanced mix of diversity and unity. And because we all know that we can't afford the luxury of choosing which crisis we want to deal with. The conflicts around us are many and don't queue up: we have to work on all of them, all at the same time, all of us together, to the east and to the south.

To our east, on European territory, the conflict in Ukraine has carried an unsustainable price in human lives, has shown us that one of the basic principles of international law - the respect of country's territorial integrity and sovereignty, and that you don't change borders by force - can be violated. An extremely dangerous precedent, not only for Europe but for the rest of the world as well.

What is our response? What is our action to stop the conflict and restore the respect of international law?

First: exhaustive diplomacy, including the economic pressure we put with our sanctions. We work through all channels, all forms and formats of dialogue that can lead to a solution. Being it the Trilateral Contact Group, the efforts of mediation led by the OSCE, being it the talks in the Normandy Format. The initiative taken by Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande in the past days goes exactly in this direction, with the goal of finding effective ways of finally implementing, in full, the Minsk agreement. We do not know yet whether these efforts will succeed. But it is our duty to try. Not only because we feel the urgency of reaching a ceasefire, and making it sustainable. But also because we know that there is no alternative solution to a diplomatic solution for this crisis.

But our work is not only focused on solving the conflict. We also have to make sure that Ukraine becomes a functional state, I would say a success story. That is why we are supporting Ukraine in its broad reform agenda. That is why we have just added €1.8 billion in macro-financial assistance; let me say that much more, much more is needed from the international community. That is why we have deployed Advisory Mission to assist with security sector reform, and that is why we are facilitating the gas negotiations between Russia and Ukraine to ensure security of supply.

I've heard yesterday some words from minister Lavrov. Let me say that our vision for the EU's relations with Russia had been a partnership for prosperity and security. The EU can never be described as a project against someone. It will never be. Never. We have made our dream of integration true, after centuries of war, to move from confrontation to cooperation. Internally and externally. The EU's doors remain open for dialogue, but we cannot and we will not compromise on international principles and values. Never. …..

Speech in full can be read here: http://eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2015/150208_01_en.htm

ENDS


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