Ireland to send election observers to Ukraine as part of OSCE mission
EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Brussels described the referendum held in eastern Ukraine yesterday as “illegitimate and illegal” and moved to impose additional sanctions against individuals, and companies based in the Crimea.
The Foreign Affairs Council, which was attended by Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe T.D, reaffirmed EU support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Speaking after the meeting earlier today, Minister Donohoe T.D said:
“Regrettably the political and security situation in the east of Ukraine has deteriorated sharply over the past fortnight, with tragic loss of life which we all deplore. Given this violence, and the lack of concrete action by Moscow to de-escalate the situation, we, as the Council, imposed additional sanctions against 13 individuals, and two companies based in the Crimea.
“All sides must refrain from violence, intimidation or provocative action and act to restore peace and stability. Russia now must implement the terms of the Joint Declaration to which it agreed in Geneva on 17 April. The EU today lent its full support to a swift convening of a further ministerial meeting in Geneva format.”
Welcoming the outcome of today’s discussion, An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore T.D., said:
“Crucial presidential elections will be held in less than two weeks, giving all the people of Ukraine a direct say in their future. Today, the Council reiterated support for these elections and stressed that they must take place in a free and open manner so that the people of Ukraine can freely determine their own political future.
“To assist with this Ireland will be sending a team of election monitors under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). ”
Today’s Council also condemned the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in Northern Nigeria by the terrorist organisation Boko Haram, with the EU offering its support to the Nigerian authorities.
The Irish Embassy in Abuja, in cooperation with EU and other key partners in Nigeria, is maintaining contact with the Nigerian authorities in their efforts to locate and free the missing schoolgirls.