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Minister Zaorálek: It is an Act of Aggression

The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek led the Czech delegation in an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on 3 March 2014 in Brussels. The reason for this gathering was a Russian action against Ukraine and latest incidents in Crimea. The Ministers called the steps executed by the Russian Federation as an act of aggression and appealed for an immediate termination of military actions.

Recent development in Ukraine and unprecedented involvement of Russia in Crimea brought together the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the EU member states to the extraordinary meeting in Brussels. During the meeting the Czech Republic demanded from the EU to send a clear signal to Russia that such behaviour is unacceptable.  "A sneaky occupation of Crimea must come to an end," the head of the Czech diplomacy said before the meeting.

The Foreign Affairs Ministers strictly condemned Russian progress in Crimea and called it "the act of aggression" against a sovereign country. They requested Russia to immediately withdraw the units and to abide international commitments including the Budapest Memorandum in which Russia, together with the USA and Great Britain, guarantees territorial integrity of Ukraine. 

"Unless the situation de-escalates in a short time, we will decide to interrupt a visa liberalization dialogue between the EU and Russia and agreements about cooperation. And there is still a possibility of sanctions on the table." Minister Zaorálek stated after the meeting of the EU's 28. He also refered to an OSCE monitoring mission which should contribute to a diplomatic solution of the situation. If Russia will not allow that, "The EU will send its own monitoring mission," the Minister outlined next possible steps.     

"Borders of the sovereign country were violated and it happened through the means of a military force which is absolutely unacceptable. That is why we labeled the Russian progress as the act of aggression," the Czech Minister pointed out.

That the situation is urgent is also apparent from the calling an extraordinary summit of EU heads of state or government, who are going to meet in Brussels on Thursday 6 March to discuss the Crimea situation.