On Monday, the Council of EU Foreign Ministers condemned â€˜â€™the clear violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces.'
BRUSSELS (EJP)---EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy has called for an extraordinary meeting of the EU leaders on Thusday in Brussels to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine and the EU's reaction.
The extraordinary meeting of the 28 heads of stte or government comes four days after the Council of EU Foreign Ministers condemned â€˜â€™the clear violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces as well as the authorisation given by the Federation Council of Russia on 1 March for the use of the Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine."
The EU also called for a peaceful solution to the crisis and full respect of international law and expressed its readiness ''to engage in constructive dialogue with all the parties.''
"Without question this is in breach of Russia's international obligations and its commitments", said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
But the EU failed short to take immediate sanctions against Russia as some had hinted, saying it was ready for further measures.
In response the events in Crimea, the EU and its states that are participating in the G8 only decided to suspend for the time being their participation in activities associated with the preparations for the G8 Summit in Sochi in June "until the environment comes back where the G8 is able to have meaningful discussion," the Council said in its conclusions.
Ashton said : "We are firmly convinced that there needs to be a peaceful solution to this current crisis in full respect of international law. So we call on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops to the areas where they are permanently stationed on the basis of the agreement for the Black Sea Fleet stationed in Ukraine.â€™â€™
She said the EU would give Russia until Thursday to show clear signs of goodwill, including a willingness to open talks and a withdrawal of Russian troop.
"The ambition is to see the situation improve. If it doesn't, then the course is set," Ashton told reporters after Mondayâ€™s meeting.
Several Foreign Ministers stressed the immediate focus should be on diplomacy and promoting direct dialogue between Russia and the new leadership in Ukraine to deescalate the situation.
On Wednesday, the European Union proposed to provide Ukraine a $15 billion (â‚¬ 11 billion) aid package in loans and grants over the coming years, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced.
The package is "designed to assist a committed, inclusive and reforms oriented government in rebuilding a stable and prosperous future for Ukraine," Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.
The new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsenly Yatsenyuk is excpected to meet Thursday the EU leaders for an ''exchange of views''.
The EU's 28 foreign ministers also approved the list of people who will have their financial assets in Europe frozen. The identity of those targeted was withheld pending the official publication in the EU's legal journal Thursday, at which point the sanctions will be effective for the coming 12 months.