QCEA has joined with churches and other organisations to write to Angela Merkel and François Hollande to thank them for their continued efforts to reduce the violence in Ukraine. In recent weeks Merkel and Hollande helped to broker a ceasefire agreement. The letter said that confidence-building measures, including humanitarian aid, will be important and called for future EU action to seek to provide reassurance to all the people of Ukraine.

On Thursday 18 February, High Representative and Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini, threatened ‘appropriate action’ if violations of the ceasefire continued. The most useful response to violence is not more violence. The EU must play its part in a de-escalation of the rhetoric. Policy should focus on the needs of the people, and avoid seeing Ukraine and its people as just objects in a geopolitical conflict.

QCEA also joined our colleagues in a letter to UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to encourage efforts are made to demilitarise the conflict, and not respond to the situation by providing arms. Other signatories included representatives of the United Reform Church, the Methodist Church, Quakers in Britain, Pax Christi, Fellowship of Reconciliation, and Northern Friends Peace Board.