After the remarks made by President Vladimir Putin many have rushed to welcome the shift in Russian policy towards Ukraine. Today it has become clear that these remarks were premature.
Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE group leader and candidate for the Commission presidency, first wants to see real actions from the Kremlin's side instead of merely words.
Today," Mr Verhofstadt says, "we have seen that the separatists in the East of Ukraine are not willing to enter into real negotiations. Mr. Putin has a big responsibility in convincing them to act in a responsible way. This crisis will only be resolve when a dialogue is establish between the separatists and the authorities in Kiev.
In order to make a real contribution to the de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin has to deliver on three points:
- Withdraw troops from Ukrainian borders;
- Call on the separatists to withdraw from occupied buildings, handover all the weapons and cancel rather than postpone the plan to proceed with the referendum.
- enable a direct dialogue between the separatists and the authorities in Kyiv;
Until these basic elements have been fulfilled, it would be naive to speak about a real shift in the Kremlin's position on Ukraine. Any welcome would clearly be entirely premature."
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