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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: European Union foreign ministers decide to impose sanctions against those responsible for the violence in Ukraine

21.02.2014

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the foreign ministers of the European Union made a decision of principle today in Brussels to impose sanctions including a visa ban and asset freeze against those, who are responsible for human rights violations, violence and the excessive use of force in Ukraine. The extent of the sanctions will depend on future developments in the situation in Ukraine.

EU member states also agreed on an embargo on the supply of equipment to Ukraine, which might be used for internal repression.

Paet said that the EU's foreign ministers are of the opinion that all those responsible for grave human rights violations in Ukraine must be brought to justice.

According to foreign minister Paet, the European Union was forced to take drastic measures in order to find a solution to the political and institutional crisis in Ukraine, since the conflict is intensifying and Ukraine may no longer be able to cope with the situation alone. “In order to stop the bloodshed immediately and find a lasting solution, it is crucial to begin meaningful dialogue through a neutral mediator,” Paet stated. “The European Union must be ready to mediate crisis negotiations,” he added.
Paet said that Estonia has provided assistance to victims of the attacks and is ready to provide additional assistance.

The Estonian Foreign Minister confirmed that both Estonia and the European Union believe that in order to find a solution to the conflict situation and restore confidence, constitutional reform, the formation of a new inclusive government and the creation of conditions for democratic elections are necessary. The Foreign Affairs Council confirmed that the European Union's bid for political association and economic integration for Ukraine including support for reforms remains on the table.

The European Union's Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions regarding Ukraine, which in addition to the imposing of sanctions considers violence unjustified and condemns it in the strongest terms. The Council underlines that the prime responsibility for the current situation and for taking the first step to enable such a dialogue lies squarely with President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian authorities. The European Union urges the Ukrainian government to abide by its obligations under international Human Rights instruments.


Additional information:
Marika Post
Press spokesperson, Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU
+32 474 981 657

 

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