Tánaiste condemns Russia’s action in Ukraine03 March 2014
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., strongly condemned the aggression by Russian armed forces in Ukraine and warned that the EU would impose sanctions if Russia did not move urgently to de-escalate the crisis.
Speaking after an emergency meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels this afternoon, the Tánaiste said he had summoned the Russian Ambassador for a meeting tomorrow.
“This is the worst crisis which Europe has faced since the end of the Cold War. I strongly condemn what has taken place in Crimea over the weekend and call on Russia to immediately withdraw troops to their barracks. Russia’s actions are in clear breach of international law and of their obligations to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Tomorrow, I will call in the Russian Ambassador to Ireland to express our condemnation of Russia’s actions in Crimea and to ensure that he conveys Ireland’s deep concern to his government.
The EU wants to see a peaceful solution to the current crisis and stands ready to engage in talks with all parties to resolve this crisis. We will work with the United Nations and the OSCE to facilitate a peaceful resolution of this dangerous situation.
However, EU Foreign Ministers today sent a very strong message to Russia. If the Russian authorities do not de-escalate this crisis, the EU will take consequential action, including suspending talks on visa liberalisation and on a new economic agreement, both of which are priorities for the Russian Government. Foreign Ministers will continue to monitor this situation very closely and we stand ready to implement further targeted measures as necessary.
The Council today agreed to move swiftly to freeze the assets of those responsible for human rights violations in Ukraine, as agreed at our meeting of February 20. We also agreed that the EU would lend its full support to an international assistance package to address the urgent needs of Ukraine, based on a clear commitment to reforms.
I would like to commend the measured response demonstrated so far by Ukraine.”
03 March 2014
Note for Editors:
- This is the second emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers to address the situation in Ukraine in recent weeks. The Foreign Affairs Council first convened for emergency talks on February 20.