ALDE Group calls for immediate end to shelling and for EU action to get the Minsk process back on track
- ALDE Press Release , donderdag 02 februari 2017
While strongly condemning the recent escalation of heavy shelling in Eastern Ukraine, Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament call for a forceful EU initiative to set the stalled Minsk process back on track, not least as the agreements signed stipulate that the weaponry used in the latest shelling should have been withdrawn back to Russia a long time ago.
ALDE Group leader Guy Verhofstadt urges the EU leadership to answer the growing violations of Minsk Agreement by Russia, and not to allow Putin to test the resolve of the West:
“I am calling on Council President Donald Tusk and HRVP Federica Mogherini to take the lead in a concerted EU effort to get the Minsk process back on track. This last new military aggression, initiated by so called separatists, but backed and blessed by Russia, must be met by a clear warning to Moscow to stop the escalation of violence. We need to get the Minsk process going again, as the solution must be political – not military.
The EU must maintain the current sanctions and prepare new ones, if Russia continues to ignore international law and hinder a solution. It is clear that the EU now must take decisive action to clear up this European problem and take the lead. The Foreign Affairs Council must take concrete decisions in this regard next Monday."
MEP Hans van Baalen (VVD, The Netherlands), ALDE Spokesman on Russia and Ukraine, added:
"I strongly condemn the escalation of violence in Eastern Ukraine and call on all sides to respect the ceasefire. This aggression shows that pro-Russian separatists do not respect and fulfil the Minsk agreements. Sanctions against Russia cannot be lifted as long as the Minsk agreements are being breached."