Ukraine – This Situation Will Be Resolved Diplomatically Or It Will Not Be Resolved

Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): May I, perhaps to his surprise, commend the Foreign Secretary for maintaining a cool head in this situation? Clearly, there is tremendous provocation from President Putin. However, in the end, this situation will be resolved diplomatically or it will not be resolved, with terrible costs to the whole world. In that context, will he say now or later what his view is on Ukraine’s ability to have a free trade agreement with Europe, as well as a free trade agreement with Russia? Will that not be part of a diplomatic future?

Mr Hague: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his comments. It is important that we never describe the strategic context for Ukraine as a zero sum game. We welcome the idea of closer links between Ukraine and the European Union. We have supported the association agreement and a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement. We believe that those agreements would benefit the economy and people of Ukraine, and the economy and people of Russia. We absolutely recognise that Russia has important and legitimate interests in Ukraine. That, however, is not a justification for the armed violation of the sovereignty and independence of the country.