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The foreign ministers of the Nordic, Baltic and Visegrad countries consider a European Union led observation mission to the Ukraine to be essential

07.03.2014

The foreign ministers of the Nordic, Baltic and Visegrad countries condemned the unprovoked violation on Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and expressed their disapproval concerning the illegitimate referendum in Crimea on accession to the Russian Federation. The ministers consider it essential to deploy a European Union led observation mission as soon as possible.

“The Russian army has invaded a part of Europe – the Crimean peninsula,” the ministers expressed in their joint statement. “We condemn the unprovoked violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and call on the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its armed forces to the areas of their permanent stationing.” The ministers added that they call on the Russian parliament to revoke the decision of the Federation Council, allowing the deployment of Russian troops in Ukraine, which is a violation of international law.

In their joint statement, the foreign ministers also condemned the steps that have led to a further escalation of the situation. “The decision to hold an illegal referendum in Crimea on accession to the Russian Federation violates the Ukrainian constitution and, as such, is unacceptable.”

The foreign ministers of the Nordic, Baltic and Visegrad Group countries are prepared to support the Ukrainian government in their pursuit of reforms and in building a strong democratic society based on the rule of law where human rights are respected. “To help Ukraine in this period of transition, we support the establishment of the European Union led observation mission, which should be deployed as soon as possible.”

The ministers of twelve European countries expressed their strong support for Ukraine’s, Moldova’s and Georgia’s goal of further association with the European Union and the signing of Association Agreements in the nearest possible future.

The foreign ministers emphasized that the issue of energy is a critical part of Europe’s security. “Therefore it is essential to accelerate the implementation of goals and activities to increase European energy independence and diversify energy sources.”

The ministers of the Nordic, Baltic and Visegrad countries met for the first time as such a group last year in Gdansk, Poland.          

Participating at the meeting in Narva on March 6, 7  at the invitation of foreign minister Paet are Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard, Norwegian State Secretary Hans Brattskar, Iceland's Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrius Krivas, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Petr Drulák, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák and Hungarian Foreign Minister János Martonyi.


Nordic, Baltic and Visegrad foreign ministers issued the joint statement: http://www.vm.ee/?q=en/node/19360

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/

 

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