Brussels, 24 July 2014
“The EPP continues to stand by all Ukrainians who seek a more democratic, prosperous, safe and secure Ukraine. We are here to show this European solidarity. This is why the first visit that an EPP delegation is paying to another country after the European Elections is a visit to Ukraine”, said EPP President Joseph Daul and EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber MEP on Thursday after a two-day visit to Kiev along with five MEPs from the EPP Group.
The EPP delegation held a series of meetings with high-level Ukrainian politicians and civil society representatives, including President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, but also Patriach Filaret, Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and representatives of the Crimean Tatars on 23 and 24 July.
“The EPP and its political group in the European Parliament are deeply concerned about current developments in the Eastern part of Ukraine. Putting an end to the fighting and bloodshed is the first priority", Joseph Daul and Manfred Weber said.
"Ukraine needs support from the EU, the OSCE and the international community to control its borders. Russia has a responsibility to stop arms, equipment and trained personnel from passing the frontier and to accept such border controls. This is a central point with regard to the sanctions. Russia has to stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution”, they underlined.
“We fully recognise Ukraine's right and obligation to uphold law and order on its own territory and defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. This should go in parallel with efforts to put Ukraine through a much-needed reform and modernisation process, and with the ratification of the Association Agreement with the EU", they stressed.
“Following the crash of the MH17 flight last week, we call once again for an independent international investigation to be conducted without delay and without restrictions. The way separatist rebels treated the bodies and goods after the crash is a disgrace”, Joseph Daul and Manfred Weber said.
“The current crisis on our European continent shows yet again that the EU needs to stand united and speak with a strong, single voice in the world and in the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood”, they concluded.
The Members of the EPP delegation to Ukraine were:
Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament (EP)
Joseph Daul, President of the European People’s Party
Elmar Brok MEP, Chairman of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee
Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP, EPP Vice-President, EPP Group Vice-Chairman responsible for Foreign Affairs
Sandra Kalniete MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chairwoman responsible for Neighbourhood Policies
Cristian Preda MEP, EPP Group Coordinator on the EP Foreign Affairs Committee
Andrej Plenković MEP, designated Chair of the EP Delegation for relations with Ukraine
Note to editors:
The EPP is the largest and most influential European-level political party of the centre-right, which currently includes 73 member-parties from 39 countries, the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, 12 EU and 6 non-EU heads of state and government and the largest Group in the European Parliament.
For more information:
Kostas Sasmatzoglou, EPP Spokesman, Tel. +32-2-2854147
Javier Jiménez, EPP Director of Press and Communications, Tel. +32-475480446