26.02. 2014 Estonian MEP: Ukraine must be supported with real aid

TALLINN, Feb 26, BNS - The European Union must give real support to the Ukrainian people and also demand that Russia treat Ukraine as a genuinely independent country, Estonian MEP Tunne Kelam said on Wednesday.

"Many people died in Kiev for the association agreement and Ukraine's European future," the European People's Party deputy said during a discussion of the situation in Ukraine held in the presence of the EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule. "Is this not sufficient proof that Ukrainians uphold European values?" Kelam asked.

Kelam described halting the imperialist attitude of Russia as paramount.

"The European Union must consistently demand from the Kremlin treatment of Ukraine as a genuinely independent state, not as a Russian satellite," Kelam said turning to Fule. Kelam added that at the same time this marks a path toward genuine independence for Russia, as "a country which so clearly indicates its dependence on former colonies can not be really independent."

According to Kelam, Russia wants Ukraine more than others do because it was ready to pay a higher price. "We must support the people of Ukraine not only with words, but with real help," the Estonian MEP said, adding that for this the EU needs vision and a reliable strategy building on Article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union. "Why don't we say out clearly that you are welcome in the European Union when you have met all necessary criteria?"Kelam asked.

Kelam voiced support for the idea of an international conference of donors but described it as worrying that neither the immediate nor the long-term aid package of the EU have been specified to this day.

The European Parliament is scheduled to adopt a resolution on the situation of Ukraine on Thursday.

Source: Tallinn newsroom, +372 610 8814, sise@bns.ee

Baltic News Service