The war with the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine is entering its eighth year, and pro-Russian separatists, supported by Russia, carried out secession of the three eastern Ukrainian areas: Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea, said Picula, a foreign policy coordinator of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.
According to a statement issued by Picula’s office, the MEP said that Ukrainians deserved to be commended for their rational attitude.
It can seem paradoxical that while Ukraine is facing a dramatic situation, citizens and the state leadership of that country are not inclined to dramatize it. Citizens are definitely worried but they are not panicking, the Croatian MEP says.
He added that even without direct military aggression, Russia has been undermining Ukraine’s democratic, social and economic development for years, through the dissemination of misinformation and other means, he added.
Picula said, among other things, that during this crisis many European leaders have an opportunity to show their position on the current security architecture in Europe.
Picula believes that the unity of the West is now of crucial importance.
Commenting on the Russian and the European approach, Picula said that it is much simpler for Russia to speak in unison, as it is President Vladimir Putin who speaks about the matter.
On the other hand, the West is pluralistic, various member-states have different sensibilities and interests. In this crisis it is most important to stick to the joint approach in order to make it impossible for Russia to take advantage of disagreements in a bid to attack the sovereignty of Ukraine, said Picula.
“This crisis is a big stress test for us in the European Union, the biggest one since the wars after the breakup of Yugoslavia,” he added calling for the European support to Ukrainians’ efforts to defend their freedom and way of life.
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