EU foreign ministers widened the scope of those subject to sanctions regarding the continuing crisis in Ukraine


At the May 12 meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, where the situation in Ukraine was discussed, the European Union's foreign ministers demanded that the destabilization of the situation in Ukraine has to stop, while expressing concern about the ongoing activities of the pro-Russian separatists in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine. “Destabilizing activity in Ukraine must be stopped immediately and Russia has great opportunities to do so,” Foreign Minister Paet said.

According to Paet, the European Union's foreign ministers agreed to extend the list of those subject to sanctions, currently comprised of 48 persons, who are subject to a visa ban and freeze of their assets. It was also decided to expand the criteria allowing individuals and entities to be subject to the limited measures or so-called Phase 2 sanctions, so that in addition to natural persons, in the future, legal persons can also be listed, who are involved in the transfer of ownership contrary to Ukrainian law in Crimea and Sevastopol or have benefited from such.

Speaking on the subject of the referenda held in eastern Ukraine, the European Union's foreign policy leaders emphasized that the so-called referenda in the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk were illegal and the European Union will not recognize the results. “They were provocations that are null and void, organised to increase instability and deepen the conflict in Ukraine,” Paet said.
The EU foreign ministers recognized the OSCE's efforts to find solutions to the conflict in Ukraine.

The European Union foreign ministers strongly support the holding of free and fair Ukrainian Presidential elections on 25 May, and call on all parties to do so, in order to overcome the crisis and allow the Ukrainian people to choose their own future. "Ukrainians must be able to decide the future of their country through peaceful means," Paet reiterated. According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, Estonia is sending two long-term and six short-term observers to various regions in Ukraine to observe the Presidential elections as part of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observation mission. In addition, an OSCE special mission will be in Ukraine until September to contribute to peace and stability in the region where four experts from Estonia are currently participating. Estonia has supported the special mission with a voluntary contribution of 20 000 euros and another donation in the same amount is planned.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Ukraine deserves recognition for its aspirations to emerge from the crisis. According to the Estonian Foreign Minister, the European Union Foreign Affairs Council welcomed the efforts taken so far by the Ukrainian authorities to implement the Geneva Joint Statement, including by working towards constitutional reform and decentralization in a broad national dialogue and proposing an amnesty law. Paet said that cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union will continue in the form of consultations and the implementation of future cooperation programmes on May 13, when Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk arrives in Brussels and on May 16 in Kyiv with the visit of European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.

The European Union Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on Ukraine, which firmly support Ukraine's unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and called on Russia to do the same. Foreign Minister Paet stated that the European Union supports free and fair presidential elections in Ukraine on May 25, and calls on all parties to do the same in order to resolve the crisis and to give the opportunity to the Ukrainian people to decide their own future.

The European Union reiterates its demand to Russia to call back its troops from the Ukrainian border and to immediately withdraw the mandate of the Federation Council to use force on Ukrainian soil.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council reiterates its strong condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and will not recognise it.

In its conclusions, the Council welcomes the trilateral energy talks between Russia, Ukraine and the EU, launched in Warsaw on May 2, aimed at safeguarding the security of supply and transit of natural gas to and through Ukraine on the basis of a transparent regime.

Similarly, the European Union welcomes the decision of the IMF Executive Board to approve a two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Ukraine in the amount of 17.1 billion U.S. dollars.

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

637 7618


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