House of Lords written question – answered on 20th March 2014.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will seek to ensure that any contact group set up in relation to Ukraine and Crimea will be able to act independently and free from any veto by participatory nations.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

A stable Ukraine is best secured through diplomacy, engagement and contact. As the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has told Parliament, the Government is willing to pursue any diplomatic avenue that could help to reduce tensions—including through a contact group. We have urged Russia to attend talks and consultations, and to begin contact with the Ukrainian government.

We will persist in our efforts to find a framework for the Russians and Ukrainians to talk. The composition and terms of any contact group would need to be agreed by the participants, including on the use of a veto by participating states. In order to succeed they would need to find a way of addressing the key issues of concern.

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