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European Union foreign ministers decided to impose new restrictions against Russia

17.03.2014

Based on Russia's activities in Ukraine, the EU foreign ministers decided to impose new restrictions on Russia in Brussels today. Foreign minister Urmas Paet said that the European Union is imposing a travel ban and the freezing of assets of those persons, who are responsible for actions that are dangerous to the security of Ukraine and contrary to Ukraine's territorial integrity. He added that Russian actions in Ukraine have changed the security situation of Europe. “The list of people of the sanctions list will remain open, in order for new people to possibly be added, as the situation develops.” he said.

“Russia's continuing violations of international law and aggression in Ukraine are clearly condemned by much of the international community. On Saturday, this view was expressed by members of the UN Security Council discussing the so-called illegal referendum in Crimea, with the exception of Russia,” he added.

The European Union's Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions today regarding Ukraine, in which yesterday's illegal referendum held in Crimea is clearly condemned and the outcome of which the European Union does not recognize. The conclusions reaffirm that the European Union continues to be ready to engage in dialogue with all parties in order to avoid possible negative scenarios. The European Union is ready to support Ukraine and promises to provide financial support, as presented by the European Commission in its assistance package to Ukraine.

The EU is also ready to introduce new restrictive measures against Russia in the near future.

According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, in the difficult foreign policy situation which has developed, all parties must make efforts to avoid the deepening of the conflict and worsening of the security situation not only in eastern Ukraine, but throughout Europe. “A wider international presence throughout Ukraine in essential,” foreign minister Paet said. “Estonia supports the deployment of a European Union observation mission to Ukraine,” he added. The European Union's foreign policy leaders also supported the swift deployment of an OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.

The Estonian foreign minister considers it important in terms of Ukraine’s further more rapid political and economic integration with the European Union, that the first step be the signing of all the political chapters of the EU-Ukraine Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Association Agreement at the meeting of the EU Heads of State or Government as early as this week. “The European Union Free Trade and Association Agreements with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova should be concluded as soon as possible,” Paet said. Foreign minister Paet also welcomes the EU’s proposal for temporarily removing customs duties on Ukrainian exports to the EU.

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

 

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