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EU Newsbrief: EU Acts to Support Ukraine and Delivers Strong Message to Russia

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- European Union Heads of State and Government, meeting in Brussels today for an extraordinary meeting on the crisis in Ukraine, strongly condemned the unprovoked violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Russian Federation. Noting the EU's special responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity in Europe, they decided to take specific actions, notably to suspend bilateral talks with the Russian Federation on visa matters and on a new political and trade agreement. They also supported the decision of the European Members of the G8 and the EU institutions to suspend their participation in G8 Summit preparations until further notice. Furthermore, they made clear that any further steps by the Russian Federation to destabilize the situation in Ukraine would lead to additional and far reaching consequences.

"We want a solution in full respect of international law and the territorial integrity of countries. The situation must de-escalate - and failure by Russia to do so will have serious consequences on our bilateral relationship," said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy as he outlined the EU's three-step approach that includes immediate short and medium term measures set out by the EU Foreign Ministers earlier this week.

Leaders also reiterated the EU's commitment to signing the Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. "Today we decided that as a matter of priority we will sign very shortly the political chapters. This means: before the Ukrainian elections of 25 May. We also commit to provide Ukraine with strong financial backing. The immediate priority in this field is restoring macro-economic stability," said President Van Rompuy after the meeting.  

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso presented the 11 billion euro comprehensive aid package, stressing that "We can make a real difference for Ukraine with this package."

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SOURCE Delegation of the European Union to the United States

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