According to Prime Minister Stubb the situation in Ukraine was the subject of discussions by President Sauli Niinistö as well as EU foreign ministers. He said the most important outcome was that parties came together for talks. He said the negotiations were a step towards a peaceful solution in Ukraine.
Stubb told Yle that it is impossible to respond to a plea for military assistance by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.
“Of course it’s not possible. Not from NATO because NATO only provides military assistance to its members, and that’s well known. And the EU doesn’t have the capacity to provide this kind of support,” Stubb said.
The said that from the perspective of peace, the key issue would be to secure a lasting truce. As to whether or not pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine would be open to a ceasefire, he said that was a "thousand-euro question." So far negotiations to that effect haven’t borne fruit, he added.
“An exit is very difficult at this point, and at the moment (the parties) are resorting to force,” he remarked.
Stubb said that Russia and the EU were experiencing a protracted period of fragile relations. The 2008 war in Georgia and the crisis in Ukraine have demonstrated that Russia is also prepared to use force to buttress its politics, Stubb said. He added that one goal would be to reverse this policy.
“It’s in our interest that the walls between Russia and traditionally the west are as low as possible. This is something to aspire to, but unfortunately we aren’t there yet,” he concluded.