Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu qualified the attack of Mariupol as a test for the international community, also probing the response of the European Union, which should come up with a ‘firm, clear and proportional’ response to the actual situation in the conflict area of eastern Ukraine; any hesitation could affect ‘the credibility of the EU as a whole,’ he said in a press conference at the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday.
Aurescu declared that he has called in the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union on Thursday to strengthen the regime of sanctions against Russia; his arguments were the serious deterioration of the security context and the ‘certain proof’ of Russia’s direct involvement in support of secessionists in eastern Ukraine, informs Agerpres.
‘We see the attack of Mariupol on January 24 as a very important moment of testing of the international community, including about the reaction of the European Union. This signal is very serious, because it happens at a time when efforts are made for enhanced political negotiations to find a solution. From a geographical point of view, it indicates a certain intention of widening the area controlled by separatists, also because it represents a reconfirmation of some kind of model – in a negative sense – of targeting the civilian population in the concerned region,’ the minister said.
The head of Romanian diplomacy also warned about the danger of the conflict spreading to other parts of Ukraine, if firm measures and ‘sincere political will for a negotiated solution’ lack.
At least 30 civilians were killed and 100 wounded on Saturday in a bombing of the port city of Mariupol; the authorities in Kiev said the authors were pro-Russia rebels.