Next few days to demonstrate Russia's choice - Fule
EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule has said he is sure that events of the next few days will demonstrate Russia's choice - either towards building a common area of democracy or towards violence.
He said this opinion in Strasbourg on Wednesday as part of the last plenary session of the European Parliament during a debate entitled "Russian pressure on Eastern Partnership countries, destabilization of eastern Ukraine."
Noting that "the coordinated and professional actions by the armed groups, including those penetrating into the Ukrainian territory from abroad, in eastern Ukraine, resemble the Crimea scenario," Fule said that the EU had appealed to Russia to call back its troops from the Ukrainian border and "to cease any further actions aimed at destabilizing Ukraine."
"Any threat or use of force, - be it military force or economic coercion, - against Ukraine or any other countries is not acceptable and must be stopped. It is in our common interest to avoid violence and bloodshed on the European continent, which could spiral out of control. It is in our common interest to jointly work towards an establishment of a common area of prosperity, stability and democracy on the European continent," he said.
Fule noted that such an area could only be established "on the basis of the Helsinki OSCE principles and in line with international law."
In this regard, he said that the developments of the upcoming days would "demonstrate the choice of Russia."
"But they might also require unequivocal choices on our side," he said.
Fule said that any solution on Ukraine must be peaceful, must involve Ukraine, must be based on full respect for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the right of Ukraine to decide on its own constitution and political future.