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Estonia FM says EU ready for more action over Ukraine unrest

  • 2014-08-18
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonian FM Urmas Paet (photo:flickr)

The European Union could consider further steps against Russia amid the crisis in the Ukraine, Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet has said.

The ministers comments come after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels last Friday.

“Nothing has changed in the reasons why the European Union has imposed restrictive measures against Russia – Russia has gravely violated international law with the annexation of Crimea and in that respect nothing has changed. And violence continues to unfold in eastern Ukraine,” Paet said.

According to the minister, Russia must immediately put a stop to any form of hostile activity at the Ukrainian border, including the flow of arms, military advisors and armed personnel into the conflict region and to withdraw its forces from the border.

Russia has denied that military equipment has crossed its borders and that it's arming pro Russia rebels in Ukraine. 

Paet stated that it is important to expand the OSCE observer mission, which has provided a valuable and objective overview of the situation at the Gukovo and Donetsk and border crossings.

“The regular and rapid exchange of information between Member States and the OSCE is necessary,” he said.

“Assistance must be delivered through the prescribed channels in an impartial manner and respecting humanitarian principles. Humanitarian aid can only be delivered in agreement with the Ukrainian authorities.”

He added: “All those responsible for the downing of the plane must be brought to justice," the Estonian foreign minister said.

The foreign ministers also spoke about the progress of negotiations regarding the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and on the topic of supplying gas to Ukraine.

At the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, the foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Iraq and in Libya, as well as the Middle East peace process; particularly the situation in Gaza.

“Nothing has changed in the reasons why the European Union has imposed restrictive measures against Russia – Russia has gravely violated international law with the annexation of Crimea and in that respect nothing has changed. And violence continues to unfold in eastern Ukraine,” Paet said.“Nothing has changed in the reasons why the European Union has imposed restrictive measures against Russia – Russia has gravely violated international law with the annexation of Crimea and in that respect nothing has changed. And violence continues to unfold in eastern Ukraine,” Paet said.