Klimkin Cancel Helsinki Visit In Protest of Recent Council of Europe Vote
Ministers at the Council of Europe voted in favor of lifting sanctions against Russia
Photo from Ukrinform-UATV
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Pavlo Klimkin, canceled his participation in the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, to be held in Helsinki on May 17, 2019 Yeropeiska Pravda [European Truth] reported. The Ukrainian side at the meeting will be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Serhiy Kyslytsya.
“Minister [Klimkin] has already canceled to visit Helsinki, and this will be the first time for many years when Ukraine doesn’t present at the ministerial level,” permanent representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe, Dmytro Kuleba, said.
According to the outlet, Klimkin made the decision after the results of the Ministerial meeting of the Council of Europe, which was held on May 14, 2019, where 33 out of 44 committee members voted to lift sanctions against Russia and to readmit Russia to the Council of Europe.
This decision could be adopted, and irrevocably come binding, at the upcoming meeting in Helsinki.
Earlier, Klimkin disclosed secret negotiations that had taken place during the celebration of the Eastern Partnership program, which had taken place the week of May 6th in Brussels. He had meetings with representatives from Germany, France and the Netherlands, the main proponents for lifting the Russia sanctions.
“The question is that such a precedent of Russia coming back to PACE will carry significant symbolical consequences — this turns on the process of ‘normalization’ of everything, what Russia makes bold, without any steps towards normalcy from its side. And those who make such a distorted global reality possible have to take part of the responsibility for that,” Klimkin wrote on Facebook.
He insists that the Minsk agreements and the entire process of sanctioning Russian became compromised after the decision of the Ministerial Committee. Sanctions against Russia were enacted because of Russian aggression against Ukraine, including the illegal annexation of Crimea, the military invasion of Donbas in 2014, ammunition and arms supply to the militants and launching attacks against the Ukrainian military as well as civilians in Donbas every day.
“If the decision results in unconditionally allowing Russia to return [to PACE], Ukraine will review the volume of cooperation with the Council of Europe essentially, as the institution will have lost credibility,” Kuleba said.
Klimkin has already warned that allowing Russia to return to PACE would essentially declare the Minsk agreements null and void allowing for a greater escalation of the war in the east of Ukraine.