The European Union will not recognize the legitimacy of the Russian presidential election on the Crimea illegally annexed by Moscow, said Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on Monday in Kiev, with Ukrainian President Petro Porosenko, in a press conference.
The EU Commissioner has repeatedly stated that the EU does not recognize the legal separation of Crimea from Ukraine, including the Russian presidential election there, and maintains the sanctions against Russia. He added that the sanctions are maintained by the Union until the Minsk agreements aimed at the peaceful settlement of the armed conflict in the Donetsk Basin are met. According to his words, efforts are continuing in the Normandy format, namely with Germany and France, in order to resolve the crisis in a peaceful manner in order to create a “stable political solution” that will be respected by all parties concerned, while preserving Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty.
Mogherini also urged Russia to release all those who were illegally detained on its territory and in the occupied Crimea.
Poroshenko said at a news conference that he had agreed at a meeting that the European Commission would once again send ambassadors to the Donyec basin. He explained that EU diplomats could gain direct experience of the current situation in the region, including how Russia fulfills the Minsk agreements. He reminded that last such an EU delegation was in the Donyec basin in September 2015.
Mogherini expressed his concern about EU financial aid to Ukraine that Brussels was ready to allocate € 1 billion in new financial aid.
The Union has been providing financial assistance to Ukraine since 2015 – he recalled in the Ukrainian Freedom Radio Report. Then there was agreement on almost two billion euros. Ukraine received the first two tranches of this package, but not the last tranche of 600 million euros, since Brussels considered that Kiev did not meet all the conditions set out in the agreement.
According to the Ukrainian news agency Pravda, Mogherini said that consultations are underway on the conditions under which the EU will continue to support Ukraine. He expressed hope that until further this year, Brussels would allocate another grant to Ukraine. However, it is important for the EU to see results in Ukraine’s efforts to combat corruption, the High Representative stressed.
In a press conference with Volodymyr Hrojszman, Prime Minister of Ukraine Mogherini emphasized that it is important for Brussels to set up an independent anti-corruption court in Ukraine, a body that complies with the recommendation made by the Venice Commission of the European Council on this issue.