Sunday, March 04, 2012

Five EU Foreign Ministers blast Ukrainian authorities

Carl Bildt, William Hague, Karel Schwarzenberg, Radoslaw Sikorski and Guido Westerwelle - the foreign ministers of Sweden, Britain, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany - have today written a letter to the 'New York Times'.

"We cannot, however, conceal our growing concerns regarding the state of democracy in Ukraine. Independent media and civil society organizations report pressure from the authorities.

In late 2010, criminal proceedings were started against a number of leading opposition politicians. And a year later, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for allegedly abusing her office, following a trial that has been widely criticized both in Ukraine and abroad as not meeting international standards.

Moreover, more than a dozen other opposition politicians are facing similar charges. On Feb. 27, the former minister of the interior, Yuri Lutsenko, was sentenced to four years in prison after another disappointing trial.

These trials bear the marks of politically motivated and selective justice. According to independent experts, they have been conducted in a manner that has failed to respect the principles of the rule of law and the human rights of the defendants.

These developments are incompatible with Ukraine’s own European choice. Democracy, human rights and the rule of law are the values underpinning the association agreement and Ukraine has already committed itself to them in the framework of the O.S.C.E., the Council of Europe, and also vis-à-vis the E.U. Thus, it is fair to say that the association agreement has been imprisoned, and the Ukrainian leadership is holding the key. "

Yanukovych has made his decision. He is prepared to pay the price of isolation rather than release his most feared political opponents from prison.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is he that stupid or is he trying to send a message and warning to his opponents?

Tymoshenko would have self destructed if he had of just left her to her own devices.

Her credibility was seriously in decline. She had cried wolf too many times. Most people in Ukraine and those who pay close attention to political events are weary about any complaints she makes.

The fact is she and other members of the opposition should not be imprisoned for their actions. There is no evidence of outright corruption. The same can not be said for those associated with t6eh current government.

I would not expect much to change in Ukraine in the near future.

The October Parliamentary elections will either strengthen Yanukovych's hand or continue the ongoing power struggle between the the office of the president and the parliamentary majority.

Under Ukraine's revised Constitution all the power and formation of government lies with the president.

Even if the opposition were able to win a majority of the new parliament (unlikely)it would only be a slim majority with the president holding all the trump cards

The only future for Ukraine is constitutional and judicial reform, the removal of Presidential power and the establishment of a full democratic parliamentary system of governance in line with European standards and European models.

Unfortunately the opposition have no united policy that address the current situation or advocates a constrictive structural constitutional reform.

With no solutions in sight, Ukraine can expect little will change. Things will only get worst as long as it remains beholden to presidential rule.