EU foreign ministers statement on Ukraine.
The European Union strongly condemns the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and
territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces as well as the
authorisation given by the Federation Council of Russia on 1 March for the use of the
armed forces on the territory of Ukraine. These actions are in clear breach of the UN
Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, as well as of Russia's specific commitments to
respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity under the Budapest Memorandum of
1994 and the bilateral Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership of 1997. These
actions are also a clear breach of the Ukrainian constitution which specifically recognises
the territorial integrity of the country and states that the Autonomous Republic of Crimea
can only organise referenda on local matters but not on the modification of the territorial
configuration of Ukrain
The EU calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its armed forces to the areas of their
permanent stationing, in accordance with the Agreement on the Status and Conditions of
the Black Sea Fleet stationing on the territory of Ukraine of 1997. Russia should also
without delay agree to the request by Ukraine to hold consultations, as foreseen in the
bilateral Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership of 1997, and to take part in
urgent consultations among all signatories and adherents of the Budapest Memorandum of
The EU calls for a peaceful solution to the current crisis and full respect of the principles
of and obligations under international law. The EU remains ready to engage in and
promote any constructive dialogue with all parties aimed at reaching such a peaceful
solution and will continue its engagement in international facilitation efforts, working with
the UN, the OSCE, and other international actors, including on proposals for international
observation and mediation, and welcomes a possible OSCE fact finding mission in this
The Council recalls the EU's ambitions and openness to a relationship with Russia based
on mutual interest and respect and regrets that these common objectives have now been put
in doubt. The EU and those Member States who are participants of G8, have decided for
the time being to suspend their participation in activities associated with the preparations
for the G8 Summit in Sochi in June, until the environment comes back where the G8 is
able to have meaningful discussion. In the absence of de-escalating steps by Russia, the EU
shall decide about consequences for bilateral relations between the EU and Russia, for
instance suspending bilateral talks with Russia on visa matters as well as on the New
Agreement, and will consider further targeted measures. The Council decides to remain
permanently seized, in order to be in a position to take rapidly all necessary measures.
The European Union commends the measured response demonstrated so far by Ukraine .
The European Union stands by the efforts of the new Ukrainian Government to stabilise
the situation and pursue the course of reforms. The EU reaffirms the necessity of further
constitutional reform in Ukraine and to hold free, fair and transparent Presidential elections
with OSCE-ODIHR observation. The EU reaffirms the utmost importance of ensuring
inclusiveness at all levels of government by the Ukrainian authorities, including through
steps designed to reach out to all Ukrainian regions, population groups and to ensure full
protection of national minorities in accordance with Ukraine’s international commitments.
In this regard, it encourages Ukraine to draw on the expertise of the Council of Europe and
The EU is ready to further pursue its efforts with the international community and
international financial institutions, especially the IMF, to assist Ukraine. To this end, the
EU and its Member States will lend their full support to an international assistance package
to address the urgent needs of Ukraine, based on a clear commitment to reforms. The
Council welcomes the efforts already undertaken by the Commission, which has
dispatched a fact-finding mission to Kyiv in parallel to the IMF mission. The Council also
encourages interested third countries to join such an international assistance package.
Recalling its conclusions of 20 February 2014, the Council agreed to swiftly work on the
adoption of restrictive measures for the freezing and recovery of assets of persons
identified as responsible for the misappropriation of State funds, and the freezing of assets
of persons responsible for human rights violations.
The Council reconfirms its offer of the Association Agreement, including a Deep and
Comprehensive Free Trade Area. The Agreement would bring opportunities for sustainable
economic development and prosperity to all the regions of Ukraine, including Crimea, as
well as to its neighbours. The Agreement does not constitute the final goal in EU-Ukraine
cooperation. The EU reiterates its commitment to enhance people to people contacts
between the EU and Ukraine, i.a. through the visa liberalisation process, in line with
agreed conditions in the framework of the VLAP.
The Council calls on High Representative Catherine Ashton to continue her contacts with
all parties with a view to contributing to a peaceful resolution of this crisis."
Life is like a penny, you can spend it on what you like, but you can ONLY spend it once.