Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell held a phone conversation to coordinate their positions ahead of Borrell’s visit to Russia.

Borrell assured Kuleba that EU policy towards Russia would not change until Russia fully complied with its obligations under the Minsk agreements.

“Our conversation gives a clear signal that the policy of Ukraine and the EU towards Russia is coordinated, and Kyiv and Brussels share a common vision of strategic approaches to Russia,” Kuleba said.

The parties discussed the situation in Russia and strongly condemned the violence against peaceful protesters, the brutal suppression of democratic protests by the Russian authorities, and systemic human rights violations in Russia in general.

Kuleba raised the issue of introducing a new EU sanctions regime against Russia in the field of human rights, which, among other things, should apply to those guilty of persecuting Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

The interlocutors paid special attention to the forthcoming launch of the Crimean Platform and the EU’s support for this initiative.

Kuleba informed Borrell about the current state of peaceful settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian war in Donbas within the framework of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group.

The Minister briefed the interlocutor on the situation in the war zone in Donbas and the situation in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Borrell confirmed that he would inform the Russian side about a clear, unchanged position of the EU on non-recognition of the illegal attempted annexation of Crimea.

The conversation touched upon the current issues on the agenda of Ukraine-EU relations, in particular, preparations for a meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council in Brussels on 11 February and the Eastern Partnership summit scheduled for 2021.

The EU High Representative said he expected holding a successful meeting of the Association Council and expressed support for the implementation of the Ukraine-EU agenda.

Borrell reaffirmed his intention to pay a visit to Ukraine, including a visit to the contact line in Donbas, as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow doing this. The interlocutors agreed on further contacts.

Natalia Tolub

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