EU mulls emergency meeting over Russia-Ukraine conflict
The European Union is considering an emergency meeting to discuss the Russia-Ukraine conflict after rocket attacks killed at least 30 people in Ukraine`s strategic Maruipol port on Saturday.
Brussels: The European Union is considering an emergency meeting to discuss the Russia-Ukraine conflict after rocket attacks killed at least 30 people in Ukraine`s strategic Maruipol port on Saturday.
Latvia, which holds the EU`s six-month rotating presidency until July, called for an emergency meeting of the EU foreign affairs council next week.
"I call for extraordinary EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting next week, fully support action by HR @FedericaMog addressing situation in UA," Latvian foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics said Saturday via Twitter.
In a separate statement the Latvian Foreign Ministry said it was increasingly evident that Russia "is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict" in Ukraine in light of events in Mariupol.
"Those responsible for the aggression should be aware that the international community will undoubtedly and sharply react to further escalation," the statement said.
Earlier the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini denounced the rocket attacks saying in a statement that the escalation would cause a further deterioration in relations between the EU and Russia.
On Saturday Alexandre Zakhartchenko, leader of the self-declared Donetsk republic, announced the launch of an offensive on Kiev-controled Maruipol.
That assault has already caused at least 30 deaths and injured 90 people, according to provisional counts AFP obtained from Mariupol municipal spokesman Oleg Kalinin.
Mogherini called directly on Russia to intercede and halt the carnage.
"I call ... openly upon Russia to use its considerable influence over separatist leaders and to stop any form of military, political or financial support," her statement said.
"This would prevent disastrous consequences for all. Those responsible for the escalation must stop their hostile actions and live up to their commitments."
Although the EU may adopt new sanctions against Russia in the event of continued escalation, thus far there has been no official debate on additional action beyond measures already approved and applied against Moscow after.