BRUSSELS, March 03, 5:19 /ITAR-TASS/. A special meeting of the Foreign ministers of the European Union's 28 member-countries on the situation in Ukraine is to be held here on Monday. In order to attend it, Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has postponed her visit to Kiev from March 3 to 5.
Sunday's six-hour discussion of the matter at a session of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at ambassadorial level has helped the EU countries to formulate their positions for Monday's ministerial meeting. Most of EU countries, as well as the United States, Canada, and Turkey were represented at the NAC session.
The NATO Council on Sunday called on Russia "to de-escalate tensions", "to withdraw its forces to its bases", and "to refrain from any interference" in any part of Ukraine.
The Alliance called for dispatching international observers to Ukraine under the auspices of the OSCE and the UN by the start of talks between the sides.
The statement emphasized the impotance of an inclusive "political process based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law",
Ukraine "is a valued partner for NATO", and the Alliance will continue to support fully "its sovereignty, independnce and territorial integrity".
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced at the close of the meeting that he intends to hold talks with the RF shortly at the Russia-NATO Council on the situation in Ukraine. "I have heard many members of the NRC asking for a meeting," the Alliance chief stressed.