TUSK TAKES UP EU POST, TELLS RUSSIA TO GET OUT OF UKRAINE

02.12.14


EUOBSERVER.  BRUSSELS - The EU’s new Polish chairman has urged Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine in his first official statement.

Donald Tusk said in a statement on Monday (1 December) after speaking by phone with US leader Barack Obama: “We shared our concerns over the crisis in Ukraine and agreed on how important it is for Russia to withdraw from eastern Ukraine, to stop supplying troops and equipment”.

He noted that his symbolic first phone call “underlines the importance I attach to our relations with the US”.

He also underlined the strategic dimension of creating a free trade bloc with America, adding: “The TTIP [an EU-US free trade pact] is not just about free trade; it is an expression of our geopolitical partnership”.

His remarks on Russia are more direct than the EU’s recent joint statements.

The last EU foreign ministers’ statement, on 17 November, spoke of the “withdrawal of all illegal and foreign forces” without naming Russia as the culprit.

 

The last EU summit conclusions in October also urged Russia “to prevent any movement of military … from its territory into Ukraine”.

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