The Greater Europe project includes former UK Foreign Secretary
Malcolm Rifkind, former Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ivanov, former
UK Defense Secretary Desmond Browne, ex-director of Russia’s Foreign
Intelligence Service Vyacheslav Trubnikov, former Polish Foreign
Minister Adam Rotfeld, ex-Defense Minister of France Paul Quiles, and
other former officials.
The group issued a statement, entitled Crisis Management in Europe in
the Context of Events in Europe, a copy of which has been made
available to Interfax.
“There has been much Western speculation, for example, about Russia
exercising a direct military intervention option in eastern Ukraine.
Such an intervention is of course theoretically possible, though its
intention is heavily disputed by the Russian signatories to this
document and by the Russian government in Moscow. Such an intervention,
even if it were to take place, would present very significant and
potentially serious consequences for Russia itself. It would disrupt
major economic ties between Ukraine and Russia; there would most likely
be refugee flows to handle; and since many in Ukraine would blame Russia
for inciting separatism it would also most likely mean a Ukraine
hostile to Russia for the long-term,” the statement says.