Since the current crisis began, France has worked towards a solution promoting the stabilization of a democratic Ukraine in which the rights of all communities are respected and which is part of the broader European family. This was the aim of the mediation efforts carried out by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Poland and France. It was the aim of the agreement of 21 February, which the Russian Federation refused to support at the time.
The situation before us today is not a modern-day geopolitical spat. This is not a situation in which Ukraine is being forced to choose between East and West, which would go against all of the values on which the European Union is founded. I recall that the Union’s very existence is based on the rejection of such practices of another age, which twice left our continent in ruins in the course of a single century. The authorization given by the Council of the Russian Federation to deploy troops in Ukraine could, if acted upon, be seen as a threat to the territorial integrity of the country and would be a dangerous development for peace. In the Ukrainian crisis, France will continue to strive for a political solution that meets the needs of the Ukrainian people and preserves the territorial integrity and sovereignty of that country.
We therefore call on all parties involved to show their sense of responsibility. We call on the Ukrainian authorities to take all measures necessary to ensure civil peace and intercommunal coexistence, to restore the country and to take the legitimate interests of the Russian Federation into account. We expect all of Ukraine’s neighbours to assist it in this difficult task.
France and the European Union stand ready to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the crisis. The President of the French Republic has called for swift and coordinated action from the European Union, which will be determined at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 3 March.
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