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Europe must speak with united voice to address Ukraine crisis

Moscow – July 3, 2014

Ukrainian troops continued the offensive in the East of the country this week, despite diplomatic efforts to stop the fighting.

As violence intensified, the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany gathered in Berlin on 2 July to discuss a roadmap for resolving the crisis in Ukraine. The ministers agreed to reopen talks by Saturday 5 July "with the goal of reaching an unconditional and mutually agreed sustainable cease-fire" to be monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, according to a declaration following the talks.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier commented:  “We welcome Russia’s readiness to allow Ukrainian border guards access to border control points and also ask the OSCE to use their observers at those points. I believe that at today's talks the parties managed to agree a package of measures which cumulatively will lead to a reliable mutual truce in east Ukraine”

With efforts to find a diplomatic solution ongoing, experts at the International Foundation for Better Governance (IFBG) were joined by leading European public figures in calling for an end to violence.
Jean Luc Schaffhauser, a French Member of the European Parliament and President of the Académie Européenne, condemned the violence and called for EU nations to focus on finding a peaceful solution.

He said: “The crisis between Russia and Ukraine continues to worsen. Kiev’s declaration of the end of the ceasefire shows that its real intention is not finding a peaceful route, but rather finding justification for civil war. European nations, the Commission and the European Parliament must do everything in order to find a peaceful solution without taking any given party’s side.”

Mr Schaffhauser underlined the importance of considering Russian proposals for collaboration with Ukrainian border guards and OSCE observes in order to achieve better border control. He expressed his regret that “neither the US, nor other European states involved in the peace process are talking about these Russian proposals”, concluding that the proposals deserve “our full support and that of the European Parliament”.

Riccardo Migliori, President Emeritus of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, reinforced the need to end to hostilities in Ukraine. He praised Russian proposals on OSCE border monitoring involvement as “serious and useful moments of relief of tension”.

“We sincerely hope that all parties contribute seriously to achieve this objective. The OSCE has done and will do its part, as always in favor of co-operation, stability, security, rights”, concluded Migliori.


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