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Foreign minister Urmas Paet: Ukraine's security situation is further complicated by Crimea’s so-called referendum

18.03.2014

This morning, ahead of the European Union foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels, at a meeting of EU foreign ministers and the Ukrainian foreign minister, foreign minister Urmas Paet said the already fragile security situation in Ukraine has been even further complicated by yesterday’s so-called referendum carried out by Russia. “The European Union has no other choice but to increase restrictive measures against Russia at today's meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, since Russia consistently violates international law and has not shown a willingness to negotiate,” he added.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the Ukrainian government has shown measured response in a difficult crisis situation in trying to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. Unfortunately, Russia has shown no desire for dialogue and has not adhered to diplomatic practices. "Estonia and the majority of the international community do not recognize the so-called referendum on joining the Russian Federation held in Crimea yesterday, since it is contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine and was carried out in a situation where the forces of another country, in this case Russian troops, are present,” Paet said.

European Union foreign ministers expressed hope that the European Commission's assistance package, offered on March 5, will provide support for Ukraine’s economic and financial stabilisation. According to foreign minister Paet, the draft legislation of unilateral trade measures proposed on March 11 will definitely benefit the Ukrainian economy and business climate. When it enters into force, Ukraine will be able to immediately begin exporting its goods to the European Union using the same preferential tariff offered by the comprehensive free trade area.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that Estonia continues to be ready to support Ukraine in stabilizing the situation by sharing its knowledge on an expert level and sharing experience in both the implementation of reforms that will help build a state based on the rule of law, as well as to improve the economic situation. The European Union's Foreign Affairs Council of February 20 also confirmed that the European Union’s offer to Ukraine of political association and economic integration, as well as support to implement reforms still stands. “It is very important to focus on the fight against corruption,” he added.

According to foreign minister Paet, Estonia has supported humanitarian aid in Ukraine with a total of 85 000 euros and is ready to bring about a dozen people injured in the protests to Estonia to be treated.

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

 

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