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On the situation in Ukraine – speech in European Parliament

Mr President, what we are now seeing in Eastern Europe is a second wave in the fight for democracy. The same applies as applied fifteen years ago, and the events will be as decisive for Europe and for the way Europe will look in ten to fifteen years’ time, and subsequently, as were the events of 15 years ago.

It is crucially important that we see the serious dimension to the crisis that is playing itself out, in which the old dictatorship is trying to rob the people of its new democracy. We must be on our guard against a repetition of developments that might lead to a new Balkans. The events pose a number of important questions, especially – as Mr Vatanen pointed out – concerning how we go on to view Russia’s own development towards democracy, which is a matter requiring consistency and clarity. The events pose questions as to how we ourselves are to have respect for our own common foreign and security policy, and this is a crucial test in terms of how we are able to take action.

I believe it important for us to act not only on the basis of how serious present events are but also with a view to preventing what, in the worst case, may happen tomorrow and in the months to come and which is something that makes the situation extremely serious and that calls for immediate action. An unambiguous message to Russia and the Ukrainian leadership is required. Our only concerns should be for the Ukrainian people and for democracy.