The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (the International Fund) deeply regrets that as a result of the Ukrainian crisis more than four thousands people lost their lives, hundred of thousands became displaced persons, European security and trade and economic cooperation on the continent were seriously impaired.

The increased tensions in connection with the crisis, accusatory rhetoric and mutual sanctions remind the Cold War era.

It is unfortunate that at a time whenUkrainewith its huge potential should engage actively in reforms and the two friendly nations should cooperate, the tensions are on the rise. The International Fund deplores human losses, massive expulsion of population, hatred and animosity between communities and nations and considers the crisis and its implications, including sanctions affect first of all the ordinary citizens. In this regard, the International Fund stresses that mutual trade and economic sanctions have already caused decrease in business activity between the states and undermine confidence. This situation seriously affects the countries of theBlack Searegion that bear economic losses as a result of these mutual sanctions.

The recent deal betweenUkraineandRussia, brokered by the European Union on resumption of gas supplies toEuropeindicates that there are no insurmountable problems and that there is a way to resolve the current situation.

The International Fund declares that theMinskagreements dated September 5, 2014, currently remain the most appropriate plan for settlement, and in this respect underlines the extreme importance of following the cease-fire regime in the conflict affected regions ofUkraineand intensification of negotiation in order to ensure stability and security inUkraine. The “Day of Silence” that has been observed by all parties to the conflict is a step in the right direction.

The International Fund believes that the crisis should be resolved by peaceful means on the basis of respect to the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states.

The International Fund also calls to resolve contradictory issues of geopolitical nature in the context of the pan-European security with full respect to the norms and principles of international law enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act with the aim of restoration of confidence and building European security architecture without dividing lines.

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