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2014.02.03 10:42

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister calls for a more specific position on Ukraine

BNS | DELFI | The Lithuania Tribune2014.02.03 10:42

BNS The stance of the international community on the situation in Ukraine should be stronger and more specific, with the possibility of certain sanctions against the country’s government that hasn’t shown proper efforts to regulate the situation, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has said.

BNS

The stance of the international community on the situation in Ukraine should be stronger and more specific, with the possibility of certain sanctions against the country’s government that hasn’t shown proper efforts to regulate the situation, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has said.

“Our position should be clearer, stronger and more specific, and the people in charge of the situation in the country, in Ukraine, and those whose decisions determine further course of events – whether the confrontation continues or subsides – the people should realise that their personal responsibility is important and may lead to certain consequences,” Linkevičius told BNS after attending the 50th Munich Security Conference on Sunday. Ukraine was high on the agenda of the event.

The Lithuanian diplomacy chief expressed his doubt whether the sanctions would target the country, saying they would probably be aimed against specific individuals.

“I think we will seriously consider certain sanctions that would not be aimed against the country, but against government members whose actions do not change the situation for the better but indeed for the worse,” the Minister added.

Linkevičius also emphasised that no discussions about the sanctions against Ukrainian leaders have been started.

“No measures have been discussed yet. The general situation in Ukraine will determine whether and when the decision is made. This is what it will depend upon. The US has already decided on the sanctions. Other countries are thinking. All options are on the table and are being considered, everything will depend on the situation,” the Minister said.

In his words, the sanctions may include both restricted movement and economic sanctions: “From the classical point of view, sanctions have to do with free movement – to make entry impossible, or economic – when certain business connections are restricted or bank accounts are examined,” Linkevičius told BNS.

He said sanctions taken by Lithuania alone would not be efficient. “If we’re talking about visas – there is the Schengen visa, and if it is issued, it is valid across the Schengen territory. If it is cancelled, it loses validity in the entire territory. It is a collective action,” said the Minister.

The minister said he talked to a number of Ukrainian opposition leaders during the Munich Security Conference. Linkevičius said that some European Union (EU) foreign ministers and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton also met with Ukrainian opposition figures to discuss the situation in the country.

“They (Ukrainian opposition) maintain they have vacated all government buildings in Kiev, as well as are voluntarily leaving the buildings the opposition had seized in the regions,” he added.

Nevertheless, the fact that over 20 Maidan activists have been declared missing is alarming.

Linkevičius did not rule out that Ukraine will top the agenda of the February 10 EU Council of Foreign Ministers in Brussels.

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