“The EU must declare a collective arms sale ban on Russia and push for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine”, say S

S&D Euro MPs today called on the EU to ban arms sales to Russia and to push for an immediate cease-fire between the pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian authorities.

They also reiterated their call for an unhindered and independent international investigation of the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight and condemned the disrespectful treatment of victims.

The call came following a meeting between members of the European Parliament’s committee on foreign affairs and the Ukrainian foreign affairs minister Pavlo Klimkin to discuss the latest developments since the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Eastern Ukraine.

Knut Fleckenstein, S&D Group vice-president responsible for foreign affairs, said:

“We welcome the UN Security Council resolution that was adopted yesterday with support from Russia. It is a positive step to ensure that justice is delivered for this horrible crime. We hope that the tragedy will be a wakeup call. Everything must be done to ensure a peaceful solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

“The EU must immediately declare a collective arms sale ban on Russia and work harder for ending violence in the east of Ukraine. The only way forward is a ceasefire that includes an agreement for effective control of the Russian-Ukrainian border, possibly with OSCE support, in order to stop the flow of weaponry and mercenaries from Russia.

“Russia and all parties involved need to engage in a sustainable negotiation process to bring peace to Ukraine and defuse the conflict before it gets completely out of hand.”

S&D Group vice-president Victor Boştinaru, added:

“If Russia fails to collaborate on the investigation into the circumstances of the Malaysian airplane downing and does not stop destabilising Ukraine, Europe should take a more decisive action through adopting tougher sanctions. It has to be clear that the present situation is unacceptable.”