Foreign Affairs Council, 3300th meeting: extracts from the press conference by Catherine Ashton

Type: Press conference - summary   Référence: I086642   Durée: 04:00  Lieu: Brussels - Council/Justus Lipsius
On 20 February 2014, Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, gave a press conference in Brussels, Belgium and announced that the European Union decided as a matter of urgency to introduce targeted sanctions including asset freeze and visa ban against those responsible for human rights violations, violence and use of excessive force in Ukraine.

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00:00:00 Title 00:00:05
00:00:05 General view of the press conference room at the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, Belgium 00:00:07
00:00:12 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, (in ENGLISH): The three ministers are still in the country and are continuing with their meetings but I have spoken to them several times. We are in constant touch with them and I have updated our colleagues here. In the debate in the Council, ministers expressed their dismay of the deteriorating situation and condemned in the strongest terms all use of violence. Our thoughts inevitably are with the families of the victims. It is absolutely clear that this violence is completely unacceptable and should stop immediately. Any further escalation should be avoided. Those who are responsible for human rights violations should be brought to justice. We call on all sides to engage in an inclusive and meaningful dialogue to de-escalade the situation and to find a political solution. The prime responsibility to get this moving lies with the President. 00:01:00
00:01:12 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:09
00:01:21 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): We know the elements for a lasting solution; the formation of a new and inclusive government, constitutional reform, and the creation of the conditions for democratic elections. We remain ready to support Ukraine in this process of political dialogue. Our offer of political association and economic integration remains on the table, as well as our commitment to enhance people to people contacts. 00:00:28
00:01:49 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:06
00:01:55 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): Within the light of the deteriorating situation, we decided as a matter of urgency we need to look at targeted sanctions. We have agreed to suspend export licences for equipment for internal repression. And we have asked the relevant Working Bodies of the Council to make the necessary preparations immediately. That implementation will be taken forward in the light of developments in Ukraine. 00:00:26
00:02:21 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:07
00:02:27 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): As ever, we continue to work in close cooperation with the international community and we look to a lasting, inclusive solution for this crisis. 00:00:11
00:02:38 Cutaways of the audience (2 shots) 00:00:05
00:02:43 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): We are extremely mindful of the work the three Ministers are doing on the ground. In my conservation with them, they are having dialogue with the President, with the opposition leaders, looking for ways to de-escalade this crisis and find elements of the solution. That is very important as we look to what action we take. But the working groups have now being charged with looking and discussing what we should do in the light of these events, and, to do so, start their work immediately. So both of those elements are working together. 00:00:38
00:03:21 Cutaway of a journalist asking a question to Catherine Ashton 00:00:04
00:03:25 Soundbite by Catherine Ashton (in ENGLISH): The members of the Council were truly alarmed and chocked by the scale of violence that is taking place. That will drive the agenda as it drove the agenda today. Of course, the work of the three Ministers is crucial on the ground. And we will be in constant touch with them to seek their advice and to see what efforts they are able to make, and what progress they are able to make. That too is important. 00:00:28
00:03:52 Departure of Catherine Ashton (2 shots) 00:00:08
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