European Parliament Calls for Sanctions Against Ukrainian Officials

The European Parliament called on the European Union to introduce visa and financial sanctions against Ukrainian officials and businessmen responsible for the use of violence against protesters in Ukraine. The draft resolution was supported at a EP meeting on February 5, 2014 and signed by 68 European deputies from six political groups.

After the delegates expressed deep concern regarding the serious political crisis in Ukraine and the violent confrontations in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities, they called for a political solution to the crisis and insisted on a truly democratic debate on the ways and means of overcoming the confrontation and divisions in the country.

They strongly condemned the escalation of violence against peaceful citizens, journalists, students, civil society activists, opposition politicians and clergy, and expressed their sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the violence in Ukraine. While encouraging the Ukrainian authorities to fully respect people’s civil rights and fundamental freedoms MEPs also called on the Maidan protesters to refrain from the use of force and to keep the protest peaceful.

The European parliamentarians have appealed to the “EU institutions and the Member States to take immediate action, including increased diplomatic pressure and the introduction of personalised targeted measures (travel sanctions and asset and property freezes) with regard to all those Ukrainian officials and legislators and their business sponsors (oligarchs) who are responsible for the crackdowns on and deaths of protesters,” reads the resolution. In addition, the EP suggests that the UE “step up efforts to stop money laundering and tax evasion by Ukrainian companies and businesspeople in European banks.”

Besides, the EP recommends the EU and its member states commit to adopting new agreement on a “cost-free visa regime and ultimately a visa-free regime” for Ukrainian citizens especially for young Ukrainians. Such move and the increased availability of scholarships, in their opinion, will foster stronger research cooperation between Ukraine and the EU member states as well as expand opportunities for student exchange.

Interestingly, on January 30, 2014, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) adopted a resolution on the situation in Ukraine with a set of recommendations which stated that it would review the option of issuing sanctions including the suspension of the voting right of Ukrainian delegation in April 2014, “if grave human rights violations continue, or if the Maidan protest were to be broken up by force.”

Source: wnu-ukraine.com

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