“It seems to me that the path to dialogue is still open”, Minister Federica Mogherini said, commenting on the situation in Ukraine at a press conference in Paris after the second meeting of the international support group for Lebanon and meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. “The international community”, the minister said, is working toward “the creation of a contact group in which Moscow and Kiev could participate, noting the strong “desire to lower the tension voiced by both John Kerry and Lavrov”.
Two Italian observers sent
The minister announced that two initial Italian observers had been sent to Kiev, along with those of the other OSCE countries, who “will monitor the situation on the ground”. There is a need to “redirect management of the crisis as much as possible into the sphere of the international organisations”, she continued, citing the OSCE, European Union, United Nations and NATO.
Mogherini also explained that the present situation was, to say the least, “fluid”, but that, at least with the Paris meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, “a phase of facilitating, of direct dialogue” had been launched. “The atmosphere”, she added, “appears encouraging but the context is obviously very complicated”. Between today and tomorrow there will be “windows of opportunity for what we hope will be positive developments”, Mogherini went on, underscoring that there could be “room” for dialogue between Kerry and Lavrov in the margins of the Conference on Libya to be held for tomorrow in Rome.
EU summit in Brussels tomorrow
“I believe”, Mogherini said, “that it would be wise not to consider today instruments that are not necessary at the moment, also with a view to easing tensions. Our position”, she continued, “is rough agreement” on the decisions “with our European partners”. The “strength of our voice and our actions does not lie in heightening the tensions but in sending a unified message”, she pointed out. “We will know tomorrow morning”, after the extraordinary summit in Brussels of EU heads of state and government, “if the dialogue channel is going to remain open or if the Union is going to have to consider possible targeted measures”.
5 March, 1300 hours – Lebanon: group support, Mogherini in Paris – Meetings with Suleiman and Lavrov
Minister Federica Mogherini, along with the ministers of the countries of the International Support Group for Lebanon, is at the Elysée Palace to attend the joint declaration of the Presidents of France and Lebanon, Francois Hollande and Michel Suleiman, to be followed by a working lunch on the international situation.
Also attending will be foreign minister of France Laurent Fabius, UK foreign secretary William Hague, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and US secretary of State John Kerry. They will be joined later by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, with whom Minister Mogherini will hold a bilateral meeting on the Ukraine crisis.