Personal appeal of Ukraine’s Ambassador to Europe

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

Kostiantyn Yelisieiev

In the light of the tragic developments unfolding in Mariupol, Ukrainian Ambassador to the EU Kosiantyn Yielisieiev calls upon the Union to preserve its unity in face of a new threat to peace and security. 

Ukraine is determined to save the lives of people regardless of their political convictions and nationality, protect its sovereign European choice, and promote the EU values, to restore peace and stability. President Poroshenko unambiguously reiterated this yesterday in Wales. Unfortunately, we see vivid proof of a lack of political will on behalf of the Russian leadership to grasp a chance and find the way out of the crisis.

In the view of declarations to reach a ceasefire, we once again are on the brink of a deathly catastrophe. This time in Mariupol. The citizens of Mariupol have already said their word – they would fight to stop Russian aggression.  

Western societies should understand: when you live at the top floors of the building, you cannot feel safe if there is a fire at the first floor. It t cannot disappear by itself.

To conclude – enough of appeasement and connivance! 

The European Union has to send a clear and resolute message to the Russian leadership. An attack on Mariupol would cause grave consequences for Russia – far-reaching and destroying sanctions, a drastic change of attitude and policy towards Russia, and total international political and economic isolation.

The European idea will win again, but the question is what price will be paid this time – in terms of GDP or human lives. It is a moment to make a choice and take responsibility to protect democracy and freedom on the European continent.      

This is no time for a policy of empty declarations, which have already resulted in the annexation of the Crimea and the tragic MH17 crash. We have no right to forget about it. Neither may we afford to close our eyes at all the crimes against the humanity already committed by the Russian leadership!

The European Union must finally call things with their proper names: Russia is committing a blatant aggression against Ukraine that is no longer a threat, but a reality.   

Only the unity and solidarity of the European Union, and international community translated into tough actions and bold moves, multiplied by the heroism and courage of the Ukrainian people, will stop new Armageddon in Europe!


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