Kyiv, July 30, 2014 – Ukraine welcomes the decision of the member states of the European Union to tighten sanctions against the Russian Federation, which the states adopted based on the conclusions of the European Council of 16 July and the EU Foreign Affairs commission on July 22, said Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Valeriy Chaly.
The decision was reached at a session of EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) and will be made public today in accordance with a written decision by EU member states.
“For the first time since the Russian Federation began its aggression against Ukraine,” Mr. Chaly said, “EU sanctions went beyond personally restrictive measures—such as the freezing of accounts and visa bans. This is an acceptable move on behalf of a partner, which demonstrates compliance with the common values at the core of the European Union, the European Union that Ukraine would like to one day join.”
He went on to say that this decision was made possible by solidarity within the European Union, as well as across the Atlantic. “It was also a response to numerous international efforts on behalf of Ukraine and to constant dialogue between the President of Ukraine and the leaders of EU countries. In particular, the President welcomed the efforts of the leaders of Great Britain, Italy, and Germany, the United States, and France on July 28, as well as the clear positions of Canada, Japan, and other partner countries, who joined in imposing the tougher sanctions.”
According to Chaly, Ukraine anticipated this partnership approach and, despite the difficult consequences for these countries, “they placed greater importance on response to threats and on their values than on commercial or economic loss.”
“We call on Russia to avoid further deepening its international isolation and stop direct intervention in the situation in the East of Ukraine. The unhindered access they give to fighters, the weapons and military equipment they allow across the border, and the shelling that continues from Russian territory must stop immediately. The Russian government must realize that the logic of exporting terrorism has no future and that it will be met with an adequate response from the international community, ” Chaly said.
Ukraine is currently in active diplomatic cooperation with international organizations and foreign countries, particularly since terrorists shot down a Malaysian Airlines flight, killing 298 civilians. “All who were involved in this act of terrorism must be punished,” Chaly said. “The so-called “DNR” [Donetsk People’s Republic] and “LNR” [Luhansk People’s Republic] must be recognized as terrorist organizations, as many countries and international organizations are currently considering.”
“We believe that normalization of relations between Ukraine and Russia, as well as the EU and Russia, will be impossible until Russia ceases its illegal annexation of the Crimea,” he said, adding that Ukraine is not going to “put this issue on the back burner.”
“The official position of Ukraine is that Crimea was, is, and will continue to be Ukrainian.” He said that this position has been embraced by both the country and the international community, as reflected in the list of sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union and the United States. In regards to rolling back the annexation, Chaly said, “it will take time, but we are now working on a legal package that will make possible this decision in the future.”
“We hope that together with the international community we can still convince our neighbor to stop its aggression against Ukraine, to restore our territorial integrity, to restore the border recognized by international law, and to return to a policy dialogue to address the most urgent, global issues of our day.”
Should Russia fail to listen to the calls of the world community, he said Ukraine is ready to work toward tougher sanctions against it. “We will not abandon the multilateral dialogue that provides us with the diplomatic tools necessary to achieve results.”