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Urmas Paet meeting with Frank-Walter Steinmeier: violation of state sovereignty on fabricated grounds is not acceptable


Foreign minister Urmas Paet met with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today in Tallinn. During the meeting, Paet stated that the violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine by Russia is an offence and is unacceptable.

“Russia has used the pretext of a threat to the Russian minority in Crimea for bringing military forces into the region,” foreign minister Urmas Paet said. “This is fabricated and a false assumption, as well as a threat to all of Europe,” he added.

According to Paet, the prime objective of the newly appointed Ukrainian government is to help Ukrainian society recover after having been severely shaken. “Not a single region or ethnic or social group can be left out of the new Ukrainian architecture, or feel that it is not their country. There are a number of possibilities for a peaceful solution to the problems facing the Crimean population.“ foreign minister Paet said. “The international community has an important role to play in making this happen,” he added.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that it is important that the international community widely condemn Russian aggression in Crimea and declare the holding of a referendum in the presence of foreign troops to be null and void. The decision of the Russian parliament to allow the use of troops in Ukraine should also be annulled. Paet also considered the immediate deployment of an OSCE mission in Ukraine important. "The purpose of the mission has become the collecting of facts regarding the conflict and an attempt to prevent its escalation through the mediation of dialogue between parties," said Paet.
Paet said that it is also essential for NATO to focus on the upcoming summit in the light of the principle of collective defence.

On the topic of the role of the European Union, Paet emphasized that in such times of crises, member states should concentrate more on European security. “Energy policy is extremely crucial from the standpoint of European security,” he noted. “Therefore we must set clear goals to increase energy independence and diversification of sources,” Paet added.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that the current situation in Ukraine clearly demonstrates the necessity of the Eastern Partnership’s cooperation framework. “The European Union's Eastern Partnership is based on the assumption that the removal of trade barriers and the expansion of free-trade, supported by democratic structures and a transparent legal system are beneficial to all parties,” he said. “It is necessary to sign the Association and Free Trade Agreements with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia immediately,” Paet emphasized.

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