Russia must respect its obligations under the UN Charter, the spirit and principles of the OSCE, on which peace and stability in Europe rest.
Following-up on previous visits, High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton will travel to Ukraine on Wednesday for political contacts.

Russian military intervention in Ukraine is clearly against international law and principles of European security.

Any possible movements, action and stationing of forces must be in accordance with international law and commitments, notably under the UN Charter and the OSCE Final Act, the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 as well as bilateral treaties such as the one regulating the stationing of the Black Sea Fleet.

Military action against Ukraine by forces of the Russian Federation is a breach of international law and contravenes the principles of the NATO-Russia Council and the Partnership for Peace. Russia must respect its obligations under the United Nations Charter and the spirit and principles of the OSCE, on which peace and stability in Europe rest.

The unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected at all times and by all sides. Any violation of these principles is unacceptable. More than ever, restraint and sense of responsibility are needed.

Everything has to be approached with restraint, with composure, with dialogue, within the framework of international law and the existing contractual texts that link Ukraine with Russia and with the international community.

We call upon the Russian Federation to honor its international commitments, including those set out in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation between Russia and Ukraine of 1997, and the legal framework regulating the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, to withdraw its forces to its bases, and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine.

We urge both parties to immediately seek a peaceful resolution through bilateral dialogue, with international facilitation, as appropriate, and through the dispatch of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Since 2007, the national rotating presidencies of the EU have been divided into groups of three successive presidencies (known as Trios) cooperating to ensure a more coherent approach to the Council’s work.

From this perspective, In parallel a mission from the European Commission also visit  Kiev today to conduct an assessment of the needs. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, as the current Presidency of the European Union, completed a one day visit to Ukraine, where he was received by the Speaker of Parliament and acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov, as well as the Foreign Minister, Andrii Deshchytsia.

A great opportunity to promote bilateral relations and we are pleased that the interim Ukrainian government decided to continue the process for linking Ukraine with the European Union, with the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement.

There are also intentions stated by authorities in Ukraine to have inclusive government with also representatives from eastern Ukraine. Following-up on previous visits, High-Representative/Vice-President Ashton will travel to Ukraine next week for political contacts.

OSCE organisation that we are members of is an organisation created to respect and promote fundamental rights and freedoms, and the right of self-determination for all countries.

Today, we are witnessing a concerning and deteriorating trend in a number of OSCE States when it comes to respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy and rule of law.

The OSCE Helsinki Final Act is clear:Sovereign equality, respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty…

  • Co-operation among States, and Fulfillment in good faith of obligations under international law.

The Budapest Memorandum as guarantors of a 1994 treaty which saw Ukraine give up its Soviet nuclear weapons signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton a 1994 agreement promising to “respect” the territorial integrity of Ukraine if it gave up its nuclearweapons”

There can be no lasting security without respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. And it is precisely to exercise and defend these very rights and values that the people of Ukraine have made their voice heard in support of European integration.

There has to be a de-escalation, both physically and in terms of political language. There are some serious signs, risks of escalation, but also positive signs. There are calls for dialogue to do everything to de-escalate the situation to make possible to live up to the UN Charter obligations signed on 26 June 1945 –

 UN Charter obligations:  Chapter I – Principles, Purposes;To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

Chapter VI – Pacific Settlement of Disputes Charter obligations. The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.

And that all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

The EU, with all the soft power that the Union can obtain but also with military resureser when they are necessary, we need both in our immediate neighborhood and on the international scene to lay the foundations for peace, democracy and freedom. Security and stability in the world around us is our interest, but it is also in our ability to handle.