Brussels, Aug 15 IANS | 4 months ago

The European Union (EU) Friday urged Russia to "put an immediate stop to any form of border hostilities".

"In particular to the flow of arms, military advisers, and armed personnel into the conflict region, and to withdraw its forces from the border," Xinhua quoted a statement on Ukraine issued after EU foreign affairs council meeting here as saying.

The EU said Russia's "any unilateral military actions" in Ukraine "under any pretext, including humanitarian", will be considered by the EU as "blatant violation of international law".

Describing the need to find a political, sustainable solution to the Ukraine crisis "a matter of urgency", the statement called on Russia, Ukraine, the US and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to join the EU in the task.

The EU said it will support any meeting format conducive to creating a new "political impetus".

The EU reiterated that those directly and indirectly responsible for "downing" of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 jet should be held accountable and brought to justice as soon as possible.

The statement called on all countries and actors in the region to ensure immediate, safe and unrestricted access to the crash site of MH17, to allow resumption of the probe and the repatriation of the remains and belongings of the victims.

The EU said it regrets Russia's Aug 7 announcement of a one-year import ban on agricultural and food products originating in the EU in retaliation for the Western sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

However, the EU said the grounds for the EU's imposition of sanctions against Russia remain valid, adding that the EU will continue monitoring and assessment of the measures and remains ready to consider "further steps, in light of the evolution of the situation on the ground."

(Posted on 16-08-2014)

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