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The European Union conclusions on Ukraine (FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting, Luxembourg, 14 April 2014)
16 April 2014 02:49

The Council adopted the following conclusions:


"1. The European Union condemns actions undertaken by armed individuals in cities of Eastern Ukraine. These attempts at destabilising Ukraine must come to an end. The Council calls on all parties to engage in a dialogue in view of a peaceful solution. The Council decides on expanding the list of those subject to assets freeze and visa ban. The Council reiterates its strong support for Ukraine's unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and calls upon Russia to do likewise and to repudiate the latest lawless acts in Eastern Ukraine and to contribute to stabilize the situation. It demands Russia to call back its troops from the Ukrainian border and immediately withdraw the mandate of the Federation Council to use force on Ukrainian soil. Any threat or use of force against Ukraine or any other countries is not acceptable and must stop immediately. The EU calls on all parties to keep utmost restraint and commends the Ukrainian authorities for pursuing their law and order operations in a measured manner and encourages the government in Kyiv to contribute further to reducing tensions.

2. The EU reiterates its strong condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation and will not recognise it. The EU welcomes the adoption of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly No. 68/262. The Council looks forward to the Commission's evaluation of the legal consequences of the annexation of Crimea and to the related proposals for economic, trade and financial restrictions regarding Crimea.

3. The EU reiterates the importance of Russia's and Ukraine's engagement in a meaningful dialogue, including through the establishment of a multilateral mechanism, with a view to finding a political solution, based on full respect for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the right of Ukraine to decide on its own constitution and political future. The European Union is ready to participate in such an international mechanism. In this context, the Council welcomes the forthcoming meeting with the participation of the High Representative and Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Russia and the US, as a possible start of a substantial de-escalation process. The Council expresses the view that possible options in order to stabilise the economic situation in Ukraine could also be discussed at this upcoming meeting. The Council calls on the Russian Federation to demonstrate with supportive measures its readiness to participate in stabilising the Ukrainian economy.

4. The Council supports the work already undertaken by the OSCE Monitoring Mission, which is of utmost importance in monitoring developments in Ukraine and will continue to provide its support to this mission. The Council shares 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.

5. The Council is ready to assist Ukraine in the field of civilian security sector reform, support of police and rule of law. In this regard the Council tasks the EEAS to deploy an expert mission to prepare for appropriate assistance complementary with other on-going efforts and elaborate a Political Framework for Crisis Approach (PFCA), examining all options, including through a possible CSDP mission, with a view to a decision on further EU action at its next meeting.

6. The Council recalls that any further steps by the Russian Federation to destabilise the situation in Ukraine would lead to additional and far reaching consequences for relations in a broad range of economic areas between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and the Russian Federation, on the other hand. In this respect, 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.

7. The Council encourages Ukraine to continue to move ahead with its course of political reforms, as planned and announced by the Ukrainian Government, including notably the constitutional reform. The EU welcomes the will of the Ukrainian government to implement its commitments to ensure the representative nature and inclusiveness of governmental structures, reflecting regional diversity, to ensure the full protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, to investigate all human rights violations and acts of violence and to fight extremism. In this context, the Council welcomes the inauguration of the International Advisory Panel of the Council of Europe on 9 April. The Council welcomes the recent parliamentary resolution calling for the immediate disarmament of all illegal self-defence forces and looks forward to its implementation. The Council strongly supports the holding of free and fair Presidential elections on 25 May. The EU Member States will actively participate in the OSCE observation mission. The EU and its Member States stand ready to assist the Ukrainian government in building trust across the country.

8. The Council reiterates the EU's commitment to sign the remaining provisions of the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as soon as possible after the presidential elections on 25 May. The Council adopted today the Regulation on the reduction or elimination of customs duties on goods originating in Ukraine, which will represent a meaningful support measure to Ukraine until 1 November 2014, pending signature and provisional application of the DCFTA.

9. The Council reiterates its commitment to stand by Ukraine and to provide strong financial support to its economic and financial stabilisation, recalling the critical importance of IMF support and welcoming the staff level agreement reached between the IMF and the Ukrainian authorities on 27 March. The Council looks forward to the decision of the IMF Executive Board on a new Stand-By Arrangement. The Council adopted today the Decision on the macro-financial assistance for Ukraine establishing clear conditions for its future disbursement. This will bring the total amount to EUR 1.6 billion.

10. The Council welcomes the creation of the Support Group for Ukraine which will work on the implementation of the "European Agenda for reform". At the same time, the Council recalls the importance for Ukraine to swiftly implement an ambitious set of structural reforms, including the fight against corruption, public finance management and budget transparency. The EU calls on all interested parties to contribute to the further stabilisation and development of Ukraine.

11. The Council confirms the EU's readiness to explore ways to assist Ukraine in securing its energy supply through further diversification, including through the rapid enhancement of reverse flow capacities, enhanced energy efficiency, and effective interconnections with and within the European Union. Such assistance must be combined with Ukraine's efforts to reform and modernise its energy sector, in line with Ukraine's commitments in the Energy Community Treaty. The Council takes note of the letter of President Putin of 10 April to several EU Member States. The Council asks the European Commission to reply, on the basis of consultations with Member States, to the President of the Russian Federation on behalf of EU and its Member States, in order to agree on consultations with Russia and Ukraine with a view to ensuring security of supply and transit. The Council expresses deep concern regarding the unilateral increase of gas prices applied to Ukraine and expresses a firm conviction that all differences of views on the price and conditions of gas supplies should be solved through negotiations and available legal mechanisms, with a view to stabilising the economic situation in Ukraine. Energy relations must be based on reciprocity, transparency, fairness, non-discrimination, openness to competition and continued cooperation to ensure a level playing field for the safe and secure supply of energy.

 

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