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European Union Keeps India Informed About its Assessment of Situation in Ukraine

Source : Press Trust of India (PTI)

European Union Keeps India Informed About its Assessment of Situation in Ukraine
Ukrainians attend a rally in central Kyiv, Ukraine. (Image Source : AP)

The European Union (EU) has kept India in the loop about its assessment of the situation in Ukraine and the possible consequences that the grouping has planned for Russia if it invades the eastern European country.

An EU official said on Wednesday that India is a “friend and partner” and that the 27-nation bloc has been in constant touch with New Delhi over the Ukraine crisis and that it is doing its “utmost” to explore all avenues to defuse the situation through diplomacy and dialogue.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is scheduled to travel to Europe this week to participate in the Munich Security Conference and attend a ministerial meeting on the Indo-Pacific. The situation in Ukraine is set to figure in Jaishankar’s meetings in Europe.

The official told a group of journalists that the EU stands by Ukraine and that there will be “massive consequences” in case of Russian aggression of that country. “We keep India, as a friend and partner, appraised of our views and of our assessment of the situation. What we wish to convey is that all of our efforts are directed towards dialogue but we stand firm on our principles that cannot be negotiated because they define the very essence of Europe’s security architecture,” the official said. “We have seen a massive concentration of troops and weapons and there is clearly a threat vis-a-vis Ukraine. In the last seven years, Ukraine has suffered other acts of aggression, the illegal annexation of Crimea and the situation in the Donbas. These are facts on the ground,” the official added. While Munich Security Conference is slated to be held from February 18 to 20, the Indo-Pacific ministerial meeting is being hosted by France on February 22.

“What we are looking at is a future built on the respect for fundamental principles enshrined in the UN Charter and in the European security architecture,” the official said. The official said attempts to “unilaterally redefine” the security architecture in Europe are not acceptable as it would undermine the core principles on which European security is built.

“The violation of these principles would threaten peace and stability in Europe. Ukraine is a sovereign country and has the right to decide about its own future,” the official added. The US has already sent extra troops to Europe to support its allies in the backdrop of fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has positioned around 1,00,000 troops near its border with Ukraine besides sending warships into the Black Sea for naval exercises, triggering concerns among the NATO countries about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia has been denying that it plans to invade Ukraine. It withdrew some of its forces from the border on Tuesday.

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