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European Commission demands that Russia start dialogue with Ukraine immediately

Russia and Ukraine should immediately come to the negotiating table, and the EU is ready to help. President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso stated this on Wednesday delivering a speech at the European Parliament session.

"The ball is currently in Russia's court and, as we speak, the diplomatic, political and military situation is not yet moving in the right direction," he stated. "Our dialogue on visa facilitation and liberalization (with Russia), the discussions on the New Agreement and the preparations for the G8 meeting in Sochi have already been suspended. If meaningful negotiations do not begin within the next few days and produce results within a limited timeframe, this will trigger additional measures. And a further deterioration of the situation could lead to far reaching consequences, which I sincerely hope can be avoided."

Commenting on his speech, President of the group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats at the European Parliament Hannes Swoboda noted that "it is quite strange" that the European Commission "has found money so quickly" to aid Ukraine. "When a month ago we asked for funds to aid Syrian refugees, for instance, there was no money. So, let's hope that it is referred to real money for the Ukrainian people," he added.

Meanwhile, many parliamentarians stressed that the EU has "neither tools, nor will, nor common foreign policy" to apply whatever sanctions against Russia. Many MPs reproached the European Commission and other European countries that they had developed relations with Russia, in particular, in the field of energy, and EU became closely tied to Russia.

[Source: Itar Tass, Strasbourg, 12Mar14]

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