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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-03-03

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM Venizelos after EU mtg: 'Ukraine's territorial integrity must be respected'

  • [01] FM Venizelos after EU mtg: 'Ukraine's territorial integrity must be respected'

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA/V. Demiris) - One of the greatest international political crises of recent decades is unfolding in Ukraine, government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said late on Monday from Brussels.

    Venizelos, who is in Brussels to attend an emergency EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting, said that the Council sent clear messages based on international law on the necessity of respecting Ukraine's territorial integrity, the existing sovereign borders, international rules on dialogue and the need to avoid violence or threaten violence.

    These messages are addressed to both Russian and Ukrainian governments, he added, while the Council "stressed the importance of inclusive and combinational nature of the interim government in Ukraine, with the participation of all social, political and ethnic parameters from all of the country's regions."

    Responding to domestic political criticism, Venizelos said, "Some people in Greece do not understand what the threat is for Greece, if it acts in an amateurish and superficial way, like they propose... The way they deal with domestic politics is not feasible at European level... Irresponsible behaviour cannot be transposed on an international level. If they do so, the cost for Greece will be exorbitant."

    Venizelos said he had briefed his EU counterparts on the results of his visit to Ukraine on Sunday. Referring especially to his meetings with President of Ukrainian Parliament and acting President Oleksandr Turchynov and Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia, Venizelos said that they briefed him on the prevailing condition and on their political plans.

    Venizelos said that Deshchytsia confirmed the interim Ukrainian government's intention to continue the process of Ukraine's membership in the European Union by signing the EU's Association Agreement.

    Venizelos underlined that the voting of the recent law on the regional and minority languages was a mistake that raised concern in East Ukraine and must be corrected.

    In statements on his way to the EU meeting, the Foreign minister said that he agrees with his German counterpart Frank Steinmeier that the crisis is of historic dimensions. "We must therefore send clear messages. Our policy is policy of principles," he noted, adding that "the respect of existent borders, of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity is the main issue. Our framework is always the respect of international law."

    Moreover, he stressed that it is necessary to keep open the opportunity of dialogue and within this context he agreed with the proposal of a fact-finding mission to be formed along with an international contact team that includes Russian representatives.

    "Our response should be explicit and productive - not circumstantial, but strategic, in order to know the next step and to meet with the historic character of the situation," he concluded.

    [In photo, Venizelos,centre, at Brussels meeting of Foreign ministers on March 3, 2014, ANA-MPA/EU]

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