Prague - European Parliament President Martin Schulz supports the call for the Russian military´s withdrawal from the Ukrainian border, he said after meeting Czech Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) in Prague today.
Předseda Evropského parlamentu Martin Schulz vystoupil 11. dubna na Pražském hradě na konferenci Česko očima Evropy, Evropa očima Česka, která se uskutečnila k 10. výročí vstupu České republiky do Evropské unie. ČTK Vondrouš Roman
The appeal has again been addressed to Russia by U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen raised the same demand in Prague on Thursday.
The EP previously condemned the Russian annexation of Ukraine´s Crimea.
Schulz, on a three-day visit to the Czech Republic, today said the territorial integrity of Ukraine cannot be negotiated about. Any further challenging of Ukraine´s territorial integrity, irrespective of the means applied, will necessarily result in further sanctions, Schulz said.
He said the EU should intensify its diplomatic activities concerning Ukraine.
Schulz said he hopes the Ukrainian elections in May will lead to the country´s stabilisation and that the new government will secure Ukraine´s territorial integrity.
Nevertheless, the integrity must be backed by financial help, he pointed out.
The White House on Thursday cited Obama as telling Merkel that the USA, the EU and other international players must be ready to impose further sanctions in response to a possible escalation of the crisis by Russia.
According to the White House, Moscow obviously backs pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and pursues an organised campaign and sabotage aimed to destabilise Ukraine.
EU must be ready for confrontation, dialogue with Russia- Schulz
The European Union should make it clear to Russia that it is ready for confrontation and that it will survive even without Russian energy, but that it prefers dialogue, EP President Schulz told journalists.
He said the EU should stress the EU and Russia´s joint interests in solving the dispute over Ukraine.
At the same time, the EU should not raise Ukraine´s hopes of becoming an EU member in the foreseeable future, Schulz said, but added that the country must be given a European perspective.
Schulz said the occupation of Crimea was a serious violation of international law and that the international community cannot accept further steps that would threaten the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
If Russia undertook further operations in Ukraine, new EU sanctions would definitely follow, he said.
Schulz said the best way to deal with problems is to seek common interests, and mentioned foreign investments in the Russian economy, including the energy industry.
He said, however, the EU should also focus on energy cooperation with other countries, energy saving and introducing renewable sources.
All this should tell Russia that confrontation is more risky for it than for the EU, Schulz said.
In general terms, Russia is not a threat to Europe, but its behaviour is strange, he said.
Many people would like Russia to simply disappear. But Russia is there, it is an existing power and it must be talked to, Schulz said.
EU is not perfect, but Europe has nothing better - Schulz
The European Union is not perfect, it must be juster and more democratic, but nothing better has been created in Europe´s history, EP President Schulz said at a conference on the 10th anniversary of the Czech Republic´s entry into the Union today.
He said the entry of the Czech Republic and another nine countries on May 1, 2004, was an epochal event and the extension one of the greatest projects in human history.
Schulz spoke about the wars and periods of lack of freedom in the history of the "old" continent, which were ended by its unification.
On that day, ten states were admitted to seek the preservation of peace together with the countries that formed the EU in the past.