European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that Russia is one of the parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
She said this after the Eastern Partnership summit.
The European official stressed that Germany and France play the role of moderators and observers in the Normandy format, and Russia is one of the parties to the conflict.
“The format of the negotiations is very clear. After the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the Normandy format was created, where Germany and France are moderators and observers, and the parties to the conflict are Ukraine and Russia. We work in this format. I think this is the correct format for this conflict,” von der Leyen said, answering a question from journalists about format of negotiations with Russia which the EU will choose in case of new aggression against Ukraine.
The President of the EC confirmed that this summer, the European Commission received from the European Council the task to develop different options for action in case of further Russian aggression against Ukraine, and completed its homework. So the European Union is ready to respond to the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation, although it hopes that this will not happen.
Ursula von der Leyen also said that all participants in the EU-Eastern Partnership summit called on Russia to de-escalate on the border with Ukraine.
“We share the concern about escalation on the Ukrainian border. We call on Russia to de-escalate and refrain from any aggressive actions,” she said.
At the same time, the Eastern Partnership summit in the declaration called for resolving conflicts in the region, but did not mention the Russian Federation.