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Belgium and Luxembourg reaction to the situation in Ukraine
05 March 2014 15:25

On Tuesday, March 4th, the Belgian Federal Government Committee held the session on the situation in Ukraine. After the meeting, Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reinders reported that Belgium called on the Russian side to respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

Belgium strongly condemns Russia's intervention and requires the return of Russian troops to their barracks. Elio Di Rupo called on to respect the rights of minorities and to protect their rights in Russia and Ukraine. In his opinion, the reduction of tension and start of a dialogue between the two parties remains the main aim.

Concerning the EU’s plans to impose sanctions, in particular the suspension of visa dialogue and freezing accounts, the Belgian Prime Minister believes that the main argument against the introduction of such sanctions is Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, which is 8 % of the total gas consumption of Belgium.

The EU and the NATO often held consultations on Ukraine. On March 5th, the European Commission is going to submit a general plan of helping Ukraine. On Thursday, March 6th, a meeting of the EU Heads of State and Government will be held in Brussels, where the plan will be discussed in detail with Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk . On Monday, March 10th Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium Didier Reynders together with his counterparts from Luxembourg and the Netherlands is to be to visit Ukraine

On Tuesday, March 4th, during the interview to the German radio regarding the situation in Ukraine, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg Jan Asselborn mentioned, that “sometimes arguments of the Russian side seem to be from another planet”.

He declared to be always in favor of developing of constructive relations with Russian Federation; also mentioning, that during his recent visit to Moscow Minister for Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation S.Lavrov reassured him, that Russia will not intervene in sovereign Ukrainian affairs. According to Jan Asselborn, the development of situation according to “Georgian scenario in 2008” is unacceptable, that is why Western countries are taking steps in order to force Moscow to realize that there will be refusal of participation in the Summit G8 in Sochi and freezing of a new treaty on cooperation between Russia and EU. Along with this, J.Asselborn thinks it’s not necessary to “put Russia into the deadlock”. Answering the question if the EU has a plan if full scale battle actions will happen on the territory of Ukraine, Jan Asselborn answered that EU and NATO have all means in order to make it clear to Russia that this country is on the wrong way; all these means are political and diplomatic. Nobody consider using the military forces.

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