UK urges Russia meeting on Wednesday
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
LONDON - British Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged Russia to attend a consultation under the Budapest Memorandum, in Paris on Wednesday.
"We are willing to pursue any diplomatic avenue that could help to reduce tensions," Hague said at the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Hague will attend the talks in Paris on Wednesday and are working to support the Ukrainian government, which is facing immense political and economic challenges on top of the invasion of its territory.
It is hoped that the meeting will help "avoid any further military escalation, for Russia to return its forces to their bases and respect Ukrainian sovereignty”.
“Second for any concerns about Russian-speaking minorities in Ukraine to be addressed by means of negotiations, not force. And third for the international community to provide Ukraine, provided they are ready to carry out vital reforms, with urgent economic assistance," Hague said.
"I encouraged Ukraine's leaders to make a decisive break with the country's past history of pervasive corruption, failed IMF programs and poor governance. I informed the Ukrainian government yesterday, we will provide immediate technical assistance to Ukraine, to support elections and assist with reforms on public financial management, debt management and energy pricing."
Touching on the UK's relations with Russia, Hague said that over the past four years the British government "sought and secured" an improved relationship with Russia, and still continue to work on immense global issues such as the nuclear negotiations with Iran, and their efforts to make progress towards peace in Syria.
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