Ukraine diplomat: ‘Comprehensive assistance’ for Ukraine most effective way to counter Russian aggression

| February 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

AndrejUkraine’s top diplomat in Brussels says the most effective tool to counter Russian “aggression” is to provide Ukraine with “comprehensive assistance.”

This includes the military aid, according to Kostiantyn Yelisieiev.

The country’s Representative to the EU was speaking during a meeting of the European Parliament’s delegation to the Ukraine-EU Parliamentary Association Committee.

He was invited to take part by Andrej Plenković (pictured), a Croatian MEP and head of the Parliamentary delegation.

The meeting served as the preparation for the inaugural meeting of the Ukraine-EU Parliamentary Association Committee to be held on 24-25 February 2015, established by the Association Agreement.

In the meeting, participants exchanged views on current developments in eastern Ukraine with a special emphasis on their humanitarian aspect.

The Ukrainian Representative informed MEPs on the failure of the consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group, which were held in Minsk on 31 January, because of what he called the “destructive” position of members of “illegal” armed groups.

He highlighted “efforts made by the Ukrainian authorities to protect the civilian population” and also confirmed Ukraine’s “commitment” to the peaceful settlement of the crisis on the basis of full implementation of Minsk agreements, “especially by Russia.”

Yelisieiev also spoke about the implementation of the reform programme in Ukraine, noting the leading role of parliamentarians in this process.

He expressed “confidence” that the planned visit of Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine V.Hroysman to Brussels and the first joint meeting of the Ukraine-EU Parliamentary Association Committee will provide “additional impetus”  to strengthening the inter-parliamentary partnership, which will play an important role in the context of implementation of the Association Agreement.

The diplomat also called for support to Ukraine’s efforts in the context of reforms, as well as in countering “Russian aggression.”

Further comment came from Plenkovic who said: “We strongly support the territorial integrity of Ukraine and its right to self-defense.

“I strongly condemn new attacks of separatists supported by Russia.”

MEPs urged all sides to take all possible steps with regard to deescalation of the situation and provide assistance to the population affected by the ongoing aggression.

The comments come amid new hopes of a peace deal this Wednesday (11 February).

Russia denies accusations of sending troops and supplying the rebels.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine has claimed more than 5,300 lives and driven 1.5 million people from their homes.

At least nine Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the past 24 hours, officials say.

Fighting is said to be intense around the town of Debaltseve, near the rebel-held city of Donetsk.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande flew to Moscow on Friday to discuss proposals to end the fighting.

The detailed proposals have not been released but the plan is thought to include a demilitarized zone of 50-70km around the current front line.

After telephone conversations with Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday, they announced that a four-way summit could be held in the Belarus capital, Minsk, if the details were agreed before Wednesday.

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Category: A Frontpage, Conflicts, EU, European Commission, European Parliament, Russia, Security, Ukraine, World

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