Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, EU ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine following the downing of flight MH17 as well as further sanctions against Russia. Gaza was also discussed.
The EU and its Member States are shocked and deeply saddened by the downing of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in Donetsk, Ukraine and the tragic loss of so many innocent lives.
EU ministers conveyed their deepest condolences to the people and governments of all the affected nations and in particular to the families of the victims.
They strongly condemned the continuation of illegal activities by armed militants in Eastern Ukraine and may consider the possible designation of these groups as terrorist organisations.
They urged the Russian Federation to actively use its influence over these groups to guarantee access to the crash site and their cooperation with OSCE monitors and international experts.
The Council has called for the separatists to ensure full, immediate, safe and secure access to the crash site. It supports the implementation of UNSC and OSCE Permanent Council for a transparent and independent international investigation.
Those directly and indirectly responsible for the downing must be held accountable and brought to justice.
The Council asked for an acceleration of the preparation of the sanctions agreed at the Special meeting of the European Council on 16 July. A list of entities and persons falling under the enhanced criteria adopted by the Council on 18 July should be immediately established.
On further significant targeted measures, the Council requested the Commission and the EEAS to finalise their preparatory work and to present, on 24 July, proposals for taking action, including on access to capital markets, defence, dual use goods, and sensitive technologies, including in the energy sector.
The Council stressed its support for a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Ukraine. EU ministers called for support for the OSCE and the Trilateral Contact Group on their effort for creating conditions for a sustainable ceasefire.
They also urged Russia to stop the flow of weapons, equipment and militants across the border and to withdraw its additional troops from the border area.