On 3 March, the Foreign Minister of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs, taking part in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, reiterated strong support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and stressed that any measures taken to encourage splitting the Ukrainian society or questioning territorial integrity of the country should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Latvia expects that the territorial integrity of Ukraine will be fully respected, indicated Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs called on the EU member states to give a clear signal -- to immediately sign the EU and Ukraine Association Agreement as soon as Ukraine is ready for that. It is also necessary to speed up the work on visa liberalisation with Ukraine.
Edgars Rinkēvičs also stressed that the interference of Russia in the internal affairs of Ukraine cannot be tolerated, and Russia's propaganda is unacceptable. Should Russia's position remain unchanged, Rinkēvičs proposed that EU-Russia visa dialogue be suspended and, in case of the escalation of situation, an arms and armament embargo be imposed on Russia. The Minister suggested that restrictive measures be considered against Russian officials directly responsible for the violation of international law.
Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs expressed a strong position on the necessity of applying travel restrictions and asset-freezing against Ukrainian officials who are responsible for human rights violations, provoking violence, the use of excessive force, embezzling the government funds and undertaking destabilising activities against legitimate authorities. Such demands had already been included in the conclusions of the extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council of 20 February and should be observed, Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs indicated.
In view of the complicated economic and financial situation in Ukraine, Minister Rinkēvičs called on the European Commission in association with international financial institutions to prepare without delay the proposals for providing financial assistance to Ukraine.