Bucharest leaders urge end of violence in Ukraine

Romania is trying to prevent the spreading of tension into the region, FM Corlatean tells SkyNews.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Monday talked about the tense situation in Ukraine, voicing hope that Ukraine will soon enter a European path and violence there will end, Agerpres reports.
‘We, the Romanian Government and I, as the premier minister, are joining the opinions and positions on Ukraine adopted by all the member states of the European Union. We are hailing the cessation of bloodshed and violence. We want and we support, alongside the other EU member states, the democratic development of Ukraine and the country’s European bid,’ Ponta at the end of a meeting on Monday of the National Standing Bureau of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).
He added that he also wants the law on mother tongues of Ukraine’s national minorities, which was repealed, to be replaced as soon as possible with a European regulation.

He added that the observance of the rights and the language of the Romanian community of Ukraine is of interest to Romania’s authorities.
‘I am voicing hope that the repeal of the law on mother tongues of national minorities will be as soon as possible replaced with a European regulation in relation to the Romanian language and the rights of the Romanian minority of Ukraine. We understand the politically tense situation there, but I believe Ukraine should continue on its European journey and observe European standards, which include observing the minorities’ rights and the Romanian language, which is highly important to Romania,’ Ponta pointed out.
Ukraine’s Parliament on Sunday repealed a law that set the bases of state policy in the area of languages. Voting for the repeal were 232 lawmakers, although it would have needed 226 to pass, ITAR-TASS news agency reports.
The law came into effect on August 10, 2012. Under it, the Russian language was declared a regional language where it is considered a mother tongue by at least 10 per cent of the population. Russian was thus declared a regional language in 13 of Ukraine’s 27 regions.
Romanian also became a regional language in several parts of Ukraine, particularly in villages of the Cernauti region.
Romania supports the European path of both Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, and the current developments in Ukraine are highly significant for the entire region. At the same time, Romania is trying to prevent the spreading of tension from Ukraine into the region – Romanian Minister of Affairs Foreign Titus Corlatean declared on Sunday, Feb. 23, in an interview with British television channel SkyNews.
‘Romania represents the eastern border of both the EU and NATO and (…) as Ukraine is the largest, the biggest neighbor of Romania (…) we have been following with great concern and great interest the dramatic developments [taking place there] in the past weeks and days and we welcome, together with our European and North Atlantic partners, the agreement that was signed and the fact that the violence has stopped and a political process has started,’ Corlatean declared in an intervention devoted to analyzing the latest developments in the neighboring country.
According to the Romanian ForMin, political efforts are needed to implement the agreement signed on Friday by former President Viktor Yanukovych and the former opposition, which paves the path for Ukraine’s advancement towards Europe. Moreover, apart from the return to Ukraine’s 2004 Constitution and the creation of an inclusive government, correct early presidential elections need to be organised in Ukraine.
In addition, Corlatean said that, in the event on an increase in conflict in Ukraine, Romania is well prepared to deal with potential refugees, but that so far things at the border have stayed calm.
The Romanian chief diplomat also mentioned that the EU recognizes Ukraine’s European perspective, emphasizing however that European integration can only be accomplished based on the Ukrainians’ legitimate will that all international actors must respect.

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