Minister Flanagan on the outcome of EU Foreign Ministers' meeting on Ukraine29/1/15
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, today attended an extraordinary meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers to discuss the deteriorating situation in Eastern Ukraine.
Speaking after the meeting the Minister said:
"The situation in Ukraine remains extremely fragile. I am very concerned by the recent sharp escalation in violence in the east of the country. I was appalled by the killing of civilians during the indiscriminate shelling of the city of Mariupol at the weekend. I am concerned that these developments may mark the beginning of new offensive military operations by the Russian-backed separatists in the east of Ukraine
"Our meeting today was an opportunity to assess how the EU should respond to recent developments. At our discussions we reiterated the importance of the full implementation of the Minsk agreement, and the need for a sustainable political solution, based on the respect for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, with clear guarantees of border security, disarmament of all illegal groups and the withdrawal of foreign forces.
"The EU has consistently advocated that dialogue with Russia and others is crucial in the pursuit of a settlement that fully respects Ukraine’s sovereignty. We also recognise the need for pressure to reinforce that dialogue and that is why we have today extended existing restrictive measures in place against persons and entities undermining Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity until September 2015. We have also requested that a proposal on restrictive measures against additional individuals and entities be prepared for consideration at the next meeting of Foreign Ministers on 9 February. Further preparatory work will also be undertaken on possible additional actions which the EU could take in support of the swift and comprehensive implementation of the Minsk agreements.
"I remain of the view that such measures, combined with dialogue as well as political and diplomatic engagement, offer the best way of creating the conditions for a peaceful resolution of the crisis."
29 January 2015