• 17-APR-2014

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

Four-Way Ukraine Talks: "The Opportunity for Dialogue is an Achievement"

As tensions continue to rise between Ukraine and Russia, the EU, US, Ukraine and Russia will meet in Geneva today – the first talks of this kind.

Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said:

"The fact that all four powers – the EU, US, Ukraine and Russia – are meeting for direct talks is an achievement in itself. There have been many threats in the last weeks but none have helped resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

"Instead of verbal and military aggression, dialogue must now be the approach of choice.

"While respecting Ukraine's independence and sovereignty, we must ensure Russia has no legitimate grounds for concern over Russian-speaking citizens in Ukraine. The best defence against unjustified Russian aggression is a policy of inclusion, particularly ahead of the presidential elections on 25 May.

"The European Union is by definition not interventionist. The strength of the European Union lies in mediation and facilitating dialogue. This is our task in the case of Ukraine and Russia, too.

"The EU continues to fully support the visa liberalisation process that has begun with Ukraine and remains committed to a clear European perspective for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia."

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