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Published on Jul 26, 2014
The ECR Group welcomes the election and decisive victory of President Poroshenko, who by adopting a progressive military approach has had some success recently, with the liberation of Sloviansk, and who has pledged to broker a ceasefire agreement on the essential condition that this is fully observed by both sides and all hostages are freed. However, should Russia not cease its military support for rebel groups operating in eastern Ukraine and destabilising the entire country the EU must not hesitate to progress to sectoral economic sanctions against Moscow. Indeed, the EU must take the lead in advocating a peaceful political solution to the Ukrainian crisis that brings an end to the militant-driven violence, abductions, executions and political intimidation that have hitherto characterised this tragic conflict.
Such a solution must crucially respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, including Crimea, which Russia so gracefully annexed on the basis of a pack of lies. It is clear that the nomination of Federica Mogherini as High Rep is causing concerns in Member States like Poland and the three Baltic States because of perceived pro-Russia bias from the Rome government. So that government should now, under the Italian Presidency, instead use this platform to promote regional stability following the recent successful conclusion of association agreements and EU FTAs with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, thereby seeking instead to respect the European aspirations of these sovereign countries. Prime Minister Renzi should not for purely commercial reasons seek to appease Russia, which under Putin is seeking to re-establish through the Eurasian Economic Union an authoritarian version of the old Soviet Union and to introduce revanchist and irredentist claims which should have no place in the modern world.