EU Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusions on Ukraine.


Council broadens EU sanctions regarding the situation in Ukraine

eu_ukraine

© photocredit

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1. The European Union stands firm in upholding Ukraine’s unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and calls upon Russia to do likewise. The EU is alarmed by the continued efforts by pro-Russian separatists to destabilise Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Continued seizure of public buildings, kidnappings, killings and violation of media freedom by illegal armed groups is unacceptable and must stop. The EU will not recognise yesterday’s nor any future illegitimate and illegal “referenda”.

The tragic events in Odessa of 2 May with many dead and injured must be thoroughly investigated and all those responsible brought to justice. The Council encourages the coverage of this investigation by the Council of Europe’s International Advisory Panel as a way to ensure its independence and transparency.

2. The EU strongly supports the holding of free and fair Ukrainian Presidential elections on 25 May, and calls on all parties to do so, in order to overcome the crisis and allow the Ukrainian people to choose their own future. The Council takes note of the recent declarations from the President of the Russian Federation regarding the Presidential elections in Ukraine and expects support for the holding of these elections on 25 May 2014. Ukrainian officials and voters should be unimpeded in preparing for the elections, and all presidential candidates should be ensured safe and secure conditions to campaign freely across the whole country. To this end, the Council encourages the presidential candidates to agree on a compact on electoral conduct. The Council welcomes the deployment of the OSCE/ODIHR observation mission in which the EU Member States will actively participate.

The Council encourages continuation of efforts by the Ukrainian authorities to reach out to all regions of Ukraine within the framework of the envisaged national dialogue proposed by the Ukrainian government, including the Government’s steps towards inclusive all-Ukrainian dialogue on the constitutional reform process. The rights of persons belonging to national minorities need to be fully ensured in line with the relevant standards of the Council of Europe.

3. The EU reconfirms its full commitment to the Geneva Joint Statement of 17 April on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens, and calls on all parties involved in the Geneva meeting of 17 April to fully implement it. The Council welcomes the efforts taken so far by the Ukrainian authorities to this end, including by working towards constitutional reform and decentralization in a broad national dialogue and proposing an amnesty law for those who will peacefully leave the buildings they have seized in Eastern Ukraine. The Council encourages further work to this end. The Council also calls on the Russian Federation to take effective steps with regard to fulfilling the commitments taken in Geneva. The Council lends its support to a swift convening of a next meeting at ministerial level in the Geneva format in order to ensure full implementation of the Statement with the assistance of the OSCE.

4. In this context, the Council held today a fruitful exchange of views with the Chairman in Office of the OSCE, Didier Burkhalter. The Council welcomes the presentation of the proposals by the OSCE Chairmanship for Ukraine as well as of the Chairman’s explanations regarding its implementation. As part of the EU’s efforts in the crisis, the Council welcomes today’s visit of President Van Rompuy to Kyiv. Furthermore, the High Representative and Member States will continue undertaking the necessary contacts with all stakeholders involved in order to bring forward a political solution to the crisis.

5. 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. It also condemns declarations and visits of high officials engaged in supporting illegal attempts at separatism and thus contributing to heightening tensions in Ukraine and other States in the region. The Council condemns any attempt to circumvent the sanctions regime. The EU calls upon all sides for restraint and for an end to violence and provocations. The EU encourages the Ukrainian authorities to maintain their measured approach in pursuing law and order operations and calls on all sides to the conflict to contribute further to reducing tensions.

6. The EU commends the work already undertaken by the OSCE and its Special Monitoring Mission, and encourages it to ensure effective operations throughout Ukraine, including assistance in the implementation of the Geneva Joint Statement. The Council takes note of the OSCE roadmap and fully supports the efforts undertaken by the OSCE and its CiO to contribute to de-escalating and stabilising the situation through concrete steps including the establishment of round tables while ensuring Ukrainian ownership. The EU and its Member States will continue to provide support to the Special Monitoring Mission and call on all other OSCE participating States to do the same. The Council welcomes the rapid expansion of the Mission to the maximum number of monitors allowed under its mandate, calls for its rapid deployment, and looks forward to the Memorandum of Understanding rapidly coming into force. It encourages the OSCE to continue its support to the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities to develop a national dialogue. The Council reiterates the concerns expressed by representatives of the OSCE and the Council of Europe about current restrictions on their ability to observe the situation in the area of human rights, including of persons belonging to national minorities, in Crimea. The Council also encourages Ukraine to immediately develop a national disarmament programme together with OSCE specialists targeting all illegally armed groups throughout the country and to end all illegal occupation of public buildings and squares.

7. The EU welcomes the release of the eight unarmed international military observers under the OSCE Vienna Document, as well as of the Ukrainian military personnel accompanying them, who had altogether been held hostage in Slovyansk for more than a week, and expresses its gratitude to all those who have contributed to this positive development. This should now be followed by the release of all other hostages still being held by illegal armed groups in Eastern Ukraine.

8. The Council recalls its readiness to assist Ukraine in the field of civilian security sector reform, including police and rule of law. In this regard, it welcomes the Political Framework for Crisis Approach in Ukraine, submitted by the High Representative in response to its conclusions of 14 April. As a next step, the Council tasks the EEAS to prepare a Crisis Management Concept for a possible civilian CSDP mission in this field with a view to a decision on further steps at its next meeting. The Council underlines the importance of coordination and complementarity with OSCE and other international actors.

9. In light of the recent developments and in the absence of any steps towards de-escalation the Council has agreed to expand the criteria allowing individuals and entities to be subject to visa ban and asset freeze. This will notably allow for the possible listing of natural persons responsible for actively supporting or implementing actions or policies which undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, or stability or security in Ukraine, or which obstruct the work of international organisations in Ukraine, and natural or legal persons, entities or bodies associated with them, or legal persons, entities or bodies in Crimea or Sevastopol whose ownership has been transferred contrary to Ukrainian law, or legal persons, entities or bodies which have benefited from such a transfer. The Council has decided to add a new group of individuals and entities to the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to restrictive measures.

The Council notes that the preparatory work by the Commission and Member States is underway on possible targeted measures, as requested by the European Council in March, so that further steps can be taken should events require.

The European Union will pay particular attention to all parties’ attitude and behaviour towards the holding of free and fair Presidential elections when deciding about possible future measures.

10. The EU reiterates its strong condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and will not recognise it. The EU notes with regret the presence of President Putin at the military parade in Sevastopol on 9 May. The Council welcomes the Commission’s evaluation of the legal consequences of the annexation of Crimea and looks forward to the Council and the Commission continuing their work with a view to the swift implementation of proposals contained therein. These consequences could include but not be limited to economic, trade, and financial measures. The Council calls on UN member states to consider similar measures in line with UNGA Resolution 68/262.

The Council expresses its utmost concern about the deteriorating situation of the human rights situation in Crimea, including the refusal of the right of the leader of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev to enter Crimea, as well as the warning issued by the de facto prosecutor of Crimea that the national representation of Crimean Tatars Mejlis may be declared illegal for “extremist actions”.

11. The Council reiterates the EU’s commitment to sign the remaining provisions of the Association Agreement with Ukraine, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as soon as possible after the presidential elections on 25 May. The Council reiterates the importance of the Autonomous Trade Preferences which entered into force in April, as a temporary measure of support to Ukraine and a step leading towards the signing, provisional application and implementation of the provisions on the DCFTA.

12. The Council welcomes the trilateral energy talks between Russia, Ukraine and the EU, launched in Warsaw on 2 May, aimed at safeguarding the security of supply and transit of natural gas to and through Ukraine on the basis of a transparent regime. Both sides, despite differences between them, expressed their desire to discuss all open issues with the aim of finding a solution by the end of this month. The Council encourages Ukraine and Russia to find a comprehensive negotiated agreement ensuring energy supply to Ukraine on the basis of a fair and transparent market price. In this context, the Council underlines the importance of continuing energy sector reforms in Ukraine.

The Council also welcomes the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding and Framework Interconnection Agreement between Eustream and Ukrtransgaz enabling gas flows from Slovakia to Ukraine, which complements the already existing Hungarian and Polish reverse flow capacities, and which shows the EU’s strong commitment in support of Ukraine’s energy security sector. This is an important first step to diversify Ukraine’s sources of gas supply and to contribute to greater energy security in Eastern Europe and effective interconnections with and within the European Union as a whole. The Council recalls the Conclusions by the European Council on 20-21 March 2014 calling on the Commission to conduct an in-depth study of EU energy security.

13. The European Union welcomes the IMF Executive Board decision to approve a two-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Ukraine of USD 17.1 billion. The authorities’ economic programme supported by the Fund aims to restore macroeconomic stability, strengthen economic governance and transparency, and launch sound and sustainable economic growth, while protecting the most vulnerable. The approval of the SBA with fulfilment of the prior actions, enables the immediate release of USD 3.19 billion, with about USD 2 billion being allocated to budget support. While reiterating its strong support to Ukraine’s economic and financial stabilisation, the Council also welcomes the signing by the European Commission of the Memorandum of Understanding on the new EUR 1 billion Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) loan programme to Ukraine. The Council looks forward to the release of the first tranche of the two MFA loan programmes worth EUR 600 million, when all remaining steps will be taken by the Ukrainian Government and the European Commission. The Council reiterates that the Ukrainian Government must implement the reforms it has signed up to, including the fight against corruption. The Council welcomes the adoption of a new State Building Contract of EUR 355 million, accompanied by a EUR 10 million Civil Society Support Programme, and looks forward to the signature of the Financing Agreement at the occasion of the Ukrainian Government visit to the European Commission on 13 May.

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Council broadens EU sanctions regarding the situation in Ukraine

In the light of the recent developments in Ukraine and in the absence of any steps towards de-escalation, the Council has today widened the scope of EU restrictive measures regarding the situation in Ukraine.

The Council broadened the legal basis for EU restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. It added the possibility to target persons associated with actions and policies undermining stability or security in Ukraine as well as with obstructing the work of international organisations in the country, and entities linked to such persons.

The Council also provided a legal basis for asset freezes on entities in Crimea and Sevastopol which have been confiscated, or entities which have benefited from such confiscation.

The Council also decided to add 13 persons to the list of those subject to a travel ban and a freeze of their assets within the EU. This brings the total number of persons subject to sanctions in connection with the crisis in Ukraine to 61.
At the same time, two confiscated entities in Crimea and Sevastopol will be subject to an asset freeze.

The legal texts with the list of the persons and entities concerned will be published in the EU Official Journal later on today and will enter into force at the same time.

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Le Conseil étend les sanctions de l’UE eu égard à la situation en Ukraine

Compte tenu de l’évolution récente de la situation en Ukraine et en l’absence de toute mesure d’apaisement, le Conseil a étendu ce jour la portée des mesures restrictives de l’UE eu égard à la situation en Ukraine.

Le Conseil a élargi la base juridique des mesures restrictives de l’UE eu égard aux actions compromettant ou menaçant l’intégrité territoriale, la souveraineté et l’indépendance de l’Ukraine. Il a ajouté la possibilité de viser des personnes associées à des actes ou des mesures menaçant la stabilité ou la sécurité en Ukraine et entravant les travaux des organisations internationales dans le pays, ainsi que les entités liées à ces personnes.

Le Conseil a également fourni une base juridique pour le gel des avoirs d’entités en Crimée et à Sébastopol qui ont fait l’objet d’une confiscation, ou d’entités ayant bénéficié de cette confiscation.

Le Conseil a en outre décidé d’ajouter treize personnes à la liste des personne faisant l’objet d’une interdiction de pénétrer sur le territoire de l’UE et d’un gel des avoirs dans l’UE, portant ainsi à soixante et un le nombre de personnes soumises à des sanctions liées à la crise en Ukraine.

Parallèlement à cela, deux entités en Crimée et à Sébastopol qui ont fait l’objet d’une confiscation seront soumises à un gel de leurs avoirs.

Les textes législatifs contenant la liste des personnes et entités concernées seront publiés au Journal officiel de l’UE plus tard dans la journée et entreront en vigueur au même moment.

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US, Europe issue further threats over self-rule referenda in eastern Ukraine

On Saturday, the US State Department issued a statement calling the two referenda illegal and “an attempt to create further division and disorder.” It said the United States would not recognise the results.

The statement accused “Kremlin-backed social media and news stations” of encouraging “residents of eastern Ukraine to vote tomorrow” and insisted that, “The focus of the international community must now be on supporting the Ukrainian government’s consistent efforts to hold a presidential election on May 25.”

The statement belligerently reiterated US threats against Moscow, declaring: “As President Obama and [German] Chancellor [Angela] Merkel stated on May 2, the Russian leadership must know that if it continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine and disrupt this month’s presidential election, we will move quickly to impose greater costs on Russia.”

The US stance was echoed by French President Francois Hollande and Merkel. After a meeting in Stralsund, Germany on Saturday, both warned, “We are ready to take further sanctions against Russia.”

NATO issued a statement that it had seen no evidence of a Russian troop withdrawal and tweeted images purporting to show additional troops on the border.

The popular “yes” vote is due above all to the bloody events since the installation by a putsch of a government in Kiev made up of pro-Western oligarchs and fascists on February 22. Under the tutelage of the United States and its allies, and with their financial backing, the new government pledged itself to savage austerity, while whipping up anti-Russian sentiment in the country’s ethnically mixed population. It continued to mobilise and strengthen the far-right forces grouped around Svoboda and the Right Sector in a way that inevitably provoked a political backlash.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea, following March’s popular referendum vote in the peninsula that is home to Russia’s main Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol, encouraged similar pro-Russian movements elsewhere in the east. These have won increasing support in the face of the brutal repression meted out by Kiev’s armed forces and its paid fascist thugs . Full story.

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ABD ve Kiev yönetimi, Rusya’nın ödünlerinin ardından Ukrayna’daki çatışmayı kızıştırıyor

Alex Lantier – 12 Mayıs 2014 – İngilizce’den çeviri/Rusya’yı saldırgan olarak suçlayan Obama yönetimi yetkilileri gerçeği tersine çeviriyor. Rusya’nın Ukrayna’daki gerilimi azaltmak için bu güne kadar “yükümlülüklerinin hiçbirini yerine getirmedi”ğini söyleyen ABD Dışişleri Bakanlığı’nın Avrupa ve Avrasya İşlerinden Sorumlu Müsteşarı Victoria Nuland Kremlin’e saldırdı.

Kiev’deki 22 Şubat darbesine yol açan sağcı gösteriler sırasında Yatsenyuk’un yönetime getirilmesinin planlandığı ses kayıtları ele geçirilmiş olan Nuland, büyük bir ikiyüzlülükle, “Doğu ve Güney Ukrayna’yı istikrarsızlaştırmaya yönelik çabaları” nedeniyle Kremlin’e yükleniyor.

ABD Kongresi üyeleri, Obama yönetiminin sertlik yanlısı tavrını yineliyorlar. Temsilciler Meclisi’ndeki Ukrayna krizi üzerine bir oturumda, Ed Royce (R-California), “Rusya, ABD ile müttefiklerimiz tarafından yapılmış olan tüm uyarılara ve yaptırımlara rağmen, Ukrayna’ya karşı saldırganlığını sürdürüyor” dedi. Royce, Rusya ekonomisini çökertecek daha sert yaptırımlar için çağrı yaptı: “Putin’i, saldırganlığının Rus ekonomisine önemli ve kalıcı maliyeti olacağına ikna edecek önetkin bir strateji benimsememiz gerekiyor.”

Ukrayna’nın Donetsk ve Luhansk çevresinde yeralan doğu bölgelerindeki Kiev karşıtı protestocuların tepkisi, gösterilerin, basitçe Kremlin’in giriştiği bir istihbarat operasyonu olduğu iddialarının altını oydu. Protestocular, Putin’in referandumu erteleme talebini kabul etmeme eğiliminde olduklarını söylediler.

Donetsk Halk Cumhuriyeti’nin önderi Denis Puşilin, “Referandum 11 Mayıs’ta yapılacak. Referandum’un tarihi ertelenmeyecek” dedi.

Putin’in referandumu erteleme talebini, Kiev yanlısı Ukrayna Ulusal Muhafızı ile faşist paramiliter Sağ Sektör tarafından kuşatılmış ve Kiev yönetiminin aralıksız saldırılarında onlarca kayıp vermiş olan Slavyansk’taki yetkililer de reddetti.

Slavyansk’taki bir sözcü, “11 Mayıs’ta referandum yapmamamız durumunda halkın güvenini kaybedeceğiz. Referandum ya da savaş tercihiyle karşı karşıyayız ve biz barışçıl yolu seçiyoruz.” dedi.

Washington ile Kiev’in Moskova’nın uzlaşma çabasını reddetmesi, Ukrayna krizinin Batılı hükümetler ve medya tarafından sunuluşundaki sahtekarlığı gözler önüne sermektedir. Saldırgan, etkisiz bir şekilde, ne Kiev yönetiminin ne de onun Batılı destekleyicilerinin istediği bir ateşkesi sağlamaya çalışan Kremlin değildir.

Halkın desteklemediği, içerideki muhalefeti kana boğmaya kararlı aşırı sağcı bir yönetimi Kiev’de iktidara getirenler ve teşvik edenler, Washington ile onun Avrupalı müttefikleridir.. Tamamı.

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Illegal Referenda in Eastern Ukraine

As the United States has said, the referenda being planned for May 11 in portions of eastern Ukraine by armed separatist groups are illegal under Ukrainian law and are an attempt to create further division and disorder. If these referenda go forward, they will violate international law and the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The United States will not recognize the results of these illegal referenda.

In addition, we are disappointed that the Russian government has not used its influence to forestall these referenda since President Putin’s suggestion on May 7 that they be postponed, when he also claimed that Russian forces were pulling back from the Ukrainian border.

Unfortunately, we still see no Russian military movement away from the border, and today Kremlin-backed social media and news stations encouraged residents of eastern Ukraine to vote tomorrow, one even offering instructions for polling stations in Moscow. Russian state media also continue to strongly back the referenda with no mention of Putin’s call for postponement.

The focus of the international community must now be on supporting the Ukrainian government’s consistent efforts to hold a presidential election on May 25. International observers note that preparations for these elections are proceeding apace and in accordance with international standards, which will allow all Ukrainian people a voice in the future of their country. According to recent independent polls, a substantial majority of Ukrainians intend to vote on May 25. Any efforts to disrupt this democratic process will be seen clearly for what they are, attempts to deny the rights of Ukraine’s citizens to express their political will freely.

As President Obama and Chancellor Merkel stated on May 2, the Russian leadership must know that if it continues to destabilize eastern Ukraine and disrupt this month’s presidential election, we will move quickly to impose greater costs on Russia.

The Russian government can still choose to implement its Geneva commitments, as well as follow through on President Putin’s statement of May 7. We call on them to do so. Jen Psaki-Department Spokesperson.

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FCO : The illegitimate, so-called referendum is going ahead in Ukraine; focus should be on forthcoming elections

It is regrettable that separatists who are causing so much disruption to the lives of ordinary citizens are going ahead with their illegitimate, so-called referendum today. All Ukrainians will have a proper opportunity to express their democratic choice in the forthcoming presidential elections on 25 May. The focus must be on ensuring that free and fair elections can go ahead in a calm and stable environment. Should this process be impeded there will be further consequences as reflected in the statement of President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel on 10 May. The UK agrees that we should all work together to restore stability, security and prosperity in the region. Source.

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ALDE condemns so-called referendum as nothing more than provocation .

In response to the so-called referendums taking place in Eastern Ukraine, Guy Verhofstadt, President of the ALDE Group in the EP and candidate for the Presidency of the Commission said:

‘Such so-called referendums have no value and serve no purpose beyond further exacerbating an already tense situation. The so-called referendums not only lack all legitimacy but are also entirely fraudulent in their organisation. They can only be seen as a tool of the pro-Russian separatists. The referendums are nothing more than a provocation and do not seek to provide lasting solutions.”

‘The only popular consultation that counts will be on 25 May when the citizens of all Ukraine will be able to freely and legitimately decide on their new president. From this moment onwards, the Ukrainian citizens will then be able to discuss the way forwards for the country without any external intervention”. Source.

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    Ukraine Will Not Die, But It Can Multiply

    by: Dmitri Trenin – Monday, May 12, 2014/ After his meeting with the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Didier Burkhalter, Putin has even given a qualified endorsement to the presidential elections in Ukraine and “recommended” that the May 11 referenda in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions on their self-determination be postponed. The recommendation was not heeded and Putin was accused of duplicity, but large numbers of people apparently did come and vote.

    One can dismiss the regional referenda as illegal, although it is a weak argument in Ukraine’s post-revolutionary context. One can dismiss the real internal divisions in Ukraine only at one’s own peril. Russia certainly pursues its interests in Ukraine, as does the United States, but the actual forces engaged there are the locals. The victorious Maidan has nudged Ukraine off its post-Soviet immobility, but (…) Full analysis.

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    Western Reset of Fascist Aggression Towards Russia

    By Finian CUNNINGHAM – People in the West may perhaps find this year’s commemorations marking the end of World War II a little disorientating, especially in light of the current Ukraine crisis.

    A Western-backed fascist regime in Kiev is unleashing deadly violence against dissenting pro-Russian citizens, with the latest victims numbering 20 in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol. That death toll inflicted by state forces working with neo-Nazi paramilitaries on the orders of an unelected fascist junta in Kiev – backed by the West – comes days after dozens of Ukrainian citizens were killed in the eastern Donetz region and in the south-western port city of Odessa…

    These deaths at the hands of Western-backed fascist forces attempting to strangle Ukraine come in the same week that the world is celebrating the defeat of the very same fascist forces 69 years ago. But, unbeknownst to many in the Western public, the present situation in Ukraine is not a curious contradiction; it is a consistent geo-strategic policy of Western aggression towards Russia.

    This year, as in every year, the Second World War commemorations pay homage to the millions who died in the struggle to defeat European fascism, in particular the defeat of Nazi Germany, which from the late 1930s until 1945 embarked on aggressive conquest of other countries and a program of mass extermination. The sacrifice of many Western soldiers and citizens is not doubted; but what needs to be examined is the real motivations of the Western rulers preceding the Second World War, during it and afterwards, and up to the very present day. Full analysis.

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