Barroso warns Putin against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, including under humanitarian pretext
President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso during a telephone conversation warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian.
"Speaking with President Putin, President Barroso said that the EU would join in international efforts to assist people in need as a result of the conflict. President Barroso expressed concern at the gathering of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border, as well as the continuing flow of arms, equipment and militants from Russian territory, which run counter to efforts towards de-escalating the crisis. President Barroso warned against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian," the European Commission's press service reported on Monday.
Barroso also called on Russia to use its influence to ensure that civilian populations could safely and freely leave areas of conflict controlled by illegal armed groups.
Recalling that the EU's restrictive measures against the Russian Federation were linked to the illegal annexation of Crimea and destabilization of Ukraine, Barroso underlined the EU's regret at Russia's announcement of measures targeting food and agricultural imports, for which there was no justification, reserving the EU's right to take action as appropriate.
Barroso offered Putin once again the possibility to work together in support of stabilizing Ukraine, including through the national dialogue on constitutional reform and decentralization.
Barroso also had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday.
Speaking with Poroshenko, President Barroso emphasized the EU's readiness to increase its support to the Ukrainian government-led humanitarian response efforts as well as to international humanitarian organizations. The President of the European Commission welcomed President Poroshenko's willingness to seek international humanitarian assistance. Barroso announced that the European Commission would take this week an emergency Decision on additional humanitarian support as a contribution to the UN-led international response plan.
The EU commission president also stressed the importance of the on-going reform process in Ukraine in view of the expected provisional application of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
During both phone calls, Barroso expressed the EU’s increasing concern regarding the humanitarian impact of the on-going conflict in eastern Ukraine, especially the civilian casualties. President Barroso called for the respect of international humanitarian law and for humanitarian organizations to be supported and facilitated in their present efforts to increase the assistance to all of the population in need.
Barroso also addressed in both phone calls the active role of the Commission in helping Ukraine and the Russian Federation to identify solutions to questions raised in the on-going consultations on the impact of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as well as regarding gas supply in forthcoming energy-related discussions.