United Kingdom Minister of State responsible for European issues and NATO David Lidington (L) speaks with Luxembourg Foreign Affairs minister Jean Asselborn prior to an EU foreign ministers meeting on the Ukraine crisis at EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 3, 2014. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)
LONDON, March. 3 (Xinhua) -- Britain wanted the EU to send a "very clear message of support" through technical and economic assistance to Ukraine, British Minister of State for Europe David Lidington said ahead of an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting Monday.
"I hope that we will be able to send a very clear message that the way forward is for there to be direct contact between the governments of Russia and Ukraine," Lidington said in a statement on arrival at the EU body in Brussels.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday labeled the current situation in Ukraine as the "biggest crisis" in Europe in this century during his visit to Kiev for talks with the new Ukrainian government.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told U.S. President Barack Obama over the phone on Saturday that Russia reserves the right to protect its interests and Russian speakers living in Ukraine if violence spreads in eastern Ukrainian regions and Crimea.