Members of informal group "Friends of European Ukraine" offer to involve USA into Normandy format and negotiate on the situation in Donbas. This is said in the Group’s declaration published by the Politico.
"In order to resolve a conflict in Eastern Part of Ukraine we need to involve all the interested players, including Ukraine, Russia, EU and US,” – reads the document.
The declaration was signed by the former UN General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former head of the UK Foreign Office Malcolm Rifkind, former President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pottering, former Polish Foreign Minister and former Prime-Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, former Slovak Prime-Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, former Swedish Foreign Minister and Prime-Minister Carl Bildt and Estonian President Toomas Ilves.
“Minsk process reached a deadlock, as Russian authorities and its minions continue violating ceasefire and hinder the activity of the OSCE,” – note the signatories.
They believe that in order to reach higher effectiveness in the process of settling the conflict in Donbas, it is necessary to introduce significant players to the process, including the USA.
"Friends of European Ukraine’ group underlines that “while the Russian authorities wends its own way”, Europeans should “be strong in the issue of strengthening sanctions against Russia as well.” This may “allow Europe to demonstrate their decisiveness to coordinate their sanctions with those of the US.”
The ”Friends of Ukraine” group has been convened by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, external advisor to the President of Ukraine, and former secretary general of NATO and prime minister of Denmark. The ”Friends of Ukraine” has been established to raise international awareness; garner Western support to a democratic, prosperous Ukraine while at the same time keep reform on Kyiv’s agenda.
Previously Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe voted for the resolution on Ukraine with the amendments offered by Ukrainian delegates, which replaced the original name of the main resolution on Ukraine from ‘The political consequences of the crisis in Ukraine’ to ‘the political consequences of the Russian aggression in Ukraine’. This is a great achievement; things are called by their names. The second was an added paragraph that PACE condemns the illegal Russian Duma elections held in the Crimea and does not recognize the results.
As it was reported earlier Ukraine presented more evidence of Russia’s direct involvement in the ongoing military conflict in Donbas.
Iryna Gerashchenko, Deputy Parliamentary Speaker and PACE representative, said this at the PACE session in Strasbourg on Wednesday that Russia’s been capturing more and more Ukrainian citizens as prisoners, so that the Kremlin could blackmail the rest of the international society.