Liberal International

LI President: 'Mr Putin, keep your gas!'

Liberal International , maandag 24 maart 2014

Van Baalen said: “In 1975 Russia, the United States, and the other members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact agreed that the post-WW II borders had a permanent character. They could only be changed on the basis of international law. This was the case when the Czech and Slovak parts of Czechoslovakia decided to split in a democratic and lawful manner. The same was true when the Milosevic massacres on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo made it impossible for Kosovo the return to Serbian rule. Serbia had lost the right to govern Kosovo. None of this was the case in Ukraine.”

 “The unlawful action by Putin must be a wake-up call”

The LI President called for a coherent European Union energy policy, to make the EU independent from Russian oil and gas. Hans van Baalen continued: “The unlawful action by Putin must be a wake-up call to start laying the foundation of this policy as soon as possible. It will not be effective overnight but we must start now. The US and the EU must strengthen NATO in order to make clear that the US and Europe are prepared to defend their values and their borders.”

Van Baalen did explicitly not call for military action but asked that civilian observers be sent to all regions of Ukraine to monitor the presidential election on May 25 and make sure that Moscow will not be able to cause more chaos by trying to create trouble in the Russian speaking areas. “The best way to prevent Putin from further destabilising Ukraine and Europe is to stand firm, to have a military deterrent and to assist Ukraine, and to say to Putin: ‘keep your gas!’”, concluded Van Baalen.

Hans van Baalen MEP has made a number of trips to Ukraine, where he addressed huge crowds in Independence Square of protesters and met with government officials, as liberals around the world condemn the actions of Vladimir Putin.