EU must act; Red Cross involvement key
Following the escalation of violence in Ukraine, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms commented:
"The EU must exert pressure on Kiev and Moscow equally. Europe is not powerless: EU governments must swiftly adopt targeted sanctions against those in the Ukrainian leadership, who are responsible for the escalation. Freezing their accounts is overdue.
"The EU can also pressurise Russia through gas diplomacy, for example. There are alternatives to the planned South Stream pipeline, which would make Europe more dependent on Gazprom. This would force Putin to adjust relations with the EU. However, to do so, it is essential that Europe speaks with one voice.
"The EU must try by all means to stop the violence in Ukraine. The European Parliament has decided to send a permanent observer mission to Ukraine and this should leave as soon as possible. The OSCE must also get involved. With doctors and hospitals being prevented from treating seriously injured demonstrators and injured persons abducted from hospitals, we also need a rapid deployment of the Red Cross in Kiev."
Green foreign and neighbourhood policy spokesperson Werner Schulz added:
"The brutal crackdown by president Yanukovych must be stopped. Yanukovich has lost all legitimacy as president and the EU must immediately freeze the assets of the Yanukovych regime. The appalling statement by Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, that the confrontations in Ukraine are the result of European politics, should be roundly condemned. It is president Putin and the Russian government that bear responsibility for provoking the crisis, with their aggressive attitude towards the agreement between the EU and Ukraine, and fueling it recent months."