Monday, March 17, 2014

Ukraine: Europe's major test

March 17 (BBC News Europe) The week ahead will test Europe's resolve and its ability to act over Ukraine. One senior official in Brussels said: "It is going to be a major test of European unity post-Cold War."
The EU has warned Russia of "consequences" if it does not engage in serious dialogue and pull back its forces. The EU will discuss moving to sanctions against Moscow.
So, on Monday, at a meeting of EU foreign ministers and later in the week at a EU summit they will have to ratchet up the pressure on Russia.So far the EU has made a gesture: it has suspended talks on an economic pact with Russia and an easing of visa restrictions. In Moscow those measures have been seen as little more than irritants. Both the US and the EU have said they will not recognise the result of the referendum in Crimea. French President Francois Hollande said he would not recognise "this pseudo-consultation". British Foreign Secretary William Hague said "the time has come for tougher restrictive measures to be adopted".

Pro-Russian activists held a concert in Sevastopol to celebrate the results of the Crimean referendum