Netherlands speaks out on Kiev crisis
In a letter to Parliament Wednesday evening, Minister Frans Timmermans of Foreign Affairs, wrote he wants to focus on targeted sanctions directed toward parties responsible for violence, including the opposition, in the matter of the Ukraine. Violence erupted in Ukraine, Tuesday, after parliamentary chairman Vladimir Rybak decided not to put constitutional reforms up for debate.
28 people were killed, and after a short-lived peace-treaty Wednesday evening another 20 people lost their lives on Thursday morning in Kiev. Timmermans received broad support from parliament for his view, after initially some parties favored an independent mediator. CDA MP, Pieter Omtzigt, fears the same fate will befall Ukraine as it did Syria. 'One part of the fighting parties is supported by the Russians (whose role in the matter he questions), the other part is supported by the European Union,' said Omtzigt. The Minister discussed the recent developments in the Ukraine with the European Council and addressed the issue of how to provide humanitarian aid, asked to do so by GroenLinks. Russia pushes for the UN or another international organization to mediate, because the EU would be biased, but Timmermans fears that might create the impression that Europe supports the Russian's position. Timmermans supports German initiatives to engage in a dialogue with Russia. However so far both the German chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Affairs Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier failed to make any progress in their mediation with Russian fellow politicians Wednesday evening.