There also is an expectation very clearly expressed by the European Union for the Russian Federation to meet its international commitments, starting with the ones pledged by the 1994 memorandum closed in Budapest.
The clear common and firm position resulting from the debate in the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) is that the armed action of the Russian Federation is a clear violation of the sovereignty, of the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine and also a clear violation of the international law, Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean said on Monday, quoted by Agerpres, at the end of a FAC emergency meeting dedicated to the situation in Ukraine. ‘There firmly is an expectation expressed by the EU for the Russian Federation to return to the previously-set parameters, also with respect to the military presence, that were set by the bilateral agreements with Ukraine,’ he added.
The Romanian minister stressed the EU foreign ministers noted with satisfaction that the Kiev government cancelled a prior decision of suspending the process of the political and economic association. ‘Of course we are open to advancing to this direction, to back the European route of Ukraine on the basis of the sovereign legitimate expression of the Kiev government,’ Corlatean said. According to him, the discussions were also focused on the need of economic contribution, ‘of substantial economic assistance by the international means and mechanisms, ranging from the IMF, the World Bank and other international sources, European included’.
On Tuesday FM Titus Corlatean announced he will visit Kiev within short, at the invitation of his Ukrainian interim counterpart Andriy Deshchytsia.
Return to national legislation in Ukraine, very important
Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean said in Brussels that he had voiced in the emergency meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council a clear demand for the return to national legislation in Ukraine that provides for the use of national minorities’ languages, including in the form of regional languages. ‘This is the case of the Romanian minority, a significant one – 400,000 Ukrainian citizens of Romanian ethnicity are living in Ukraine – and I welcome the inclusion in the Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusions of this demand,’ the Romanian top diplomat said on Monday at the end of the extraordinary meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council on the situation in Ukraine. He added that the EU voiced willingness to mediation mission allowing political dialogue and not military solutions.
On February 27, the European Parliament adopted, by a majority vote, a resolution according to which the Parliament and the new Government of Ukraine must observe the rights of minorities, including the use of their language. In the document, MEPs urge ‘all parties involved in the conflict and third countries to observe and support the unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine.’
‘All Ukrainian political forces and international subjects involved in the process must work together for the good of the territorial integrity and national unity of Ukraine, taking into account the cultural and linguistic component of the country and its history.’
Corlatean – Rasmussen discussion
Also on Monday, Titus Corlatean met Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen at NATO’s General Headquarters, after attending an extraordinary meeting of the European Union foreign ministers. The main topic for discussion was the latest developments in Ukraine and their implications to regional and European security. Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE) reports in a press release that Corlatean reiterated Romania’s firm support for the North-Atlantic Council’s joint position adopted on March 2, 2014 condemning Russia’s military action in Ukraine’s Crimea region, reiterating NATO member states’ support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as calling on Russia to meet its multilateral and bilateral commitments to Ukraine. Corlatean is quoted as having reiterated the need for the legislation in force concerning the stationing of foreign troops in the Ukrainian region of Crimea being observed, as accepted by Ukraine. In his conversation with Rasmussen, Corlatean emphasised the need for Russia to observe the provisions in the United Nations Charter, as well as the rules and principles of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), pointing out that Ukraine remains an important partner to NATO and Romania as well. Corlatean also voiced worries over the state of security in Romania’s immediate vicinity, emphasising the need for negotiated solutions being found to the ongoing crisis that will observe Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
In his turn, Rasmussen said he shares Romania’s position, condemning Russia’s military action and underscoring NATO’s major concern over the security developments of the past days in the Crimea Peninsula, pointing to the North-Atlantic Council’s statement approved one day previously. Rasmussen also reiterated NATO’s determination to contribute to security tensions being eased. Both officials appreciated the importance for conjugated and coordinated action of the international organisations in relation to this matter.