The European Parliament has called for the immediate launch of a new EU mediation mission “at the highest political level” to secure a peaceful outcome to the current crisis in Ukraine. This is stated in a European Parliament resolution on the outcome of the Vilnius Summit and the future of the Eastern Partnership, in particular as regards Ukraine, which was voted during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday. “[The European Parliament] calls for the immediate launch of a new, fully fledged EU mediation mission at the highest political level, to achieve, and assist in, roundtable talks between the government and the democratic opposition and civil society and to secure a peaceful outcome to the current crisis,” reads the resolution.
During my visit to Ukraine I spoke to very many people and I followed events through the night. I want to say at the very beginning that I really do condemn the use of force, it’s totally unacceptable. Especially when, like me, you’ve had the chance to see how people are demonstrating peacefully. More than anything, the message that I’ve been giving over these last days has been the importance of dialogue and the importance of listening to what people are saying. I think the people of this great country deserve better. I came here more than anything to offer our help. I’ve been meeting as you know with the President, with government, with opposition, civil society and with the three former Presidents. And I really have two clear objectives in mind. The first, in the short term, to help to find a way out of this crisis and to help to support the dialogue that’s necessary to achieve that. And then to think about the longer-term future of this country. Again, I go back to that same word, the importance of talking with each other and of ensuring that there is a real understanding of the way forward.
A Ukrainian government delegation will travel to Brussels on Thursday to discuss further steps toward European integration. “A government delegation will fly to Brussels today for negotiations regarding stages of preparations and the implementation of measures of a European integration roadmap. The main meeting should be with European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule,” the press service told Interfax on Thursday. The delegation will be led by Arbuzov and will include Income and Tax Minister Oleksandr Klymenko, Economic Development and Trade Minister Ihor Prasolov, Finance Minister Yuriy Kolobov, and National Bank Chairman Ihor Sorkin. Click here to read the full article on interfax.com.ua.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has invited all political forces, the public and the clergy to a nationwide dialogue and has said he is ready to personally participate in such a round table. “I invite representatives of all the political forces, priests, members of the public to a nationwide dialogue. I’m ready to participate in such a round table,” the president said in an address to Ukrainians, which was released on Wednesday. The president appealed separately to the opposition: “For the sake of compromise I am urging the opposition not to refuse, not to follow the path of confrontation and ultimatums.” He assured that the government would act “solely within the law and will never use force against peaceful assemblies.” “As president of Ukraine, the guarantor of the Constitution, I will do all due for the normal functioning of the country, protecting the rights and interests of each citizen, to ensure there is peace and quiet in our country,” Yanukovych said. Click here to read the full article on interfax.com.ua.
After more than two hours in talks with President Viktor Yanukovych, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said there is still a way to resolve the escalating political crisis in Ukraine. Addressing journalists outside the presidential headquarters following the meeting, Nuland said, “I hope the people of Ukraine know that the U.S. stands with you in your search for justice, for human dignity and security for economic health, and the European future that you have chosen and deserve.” She continued: “I just spent more than two hours with President Yanukovych, it was a tough conversation but a realistic one. I made it absolutely clear to him that what happened last night (during an attempted police breakup of Independence Square), what was happening in security terms was absolutely impermissible in democratic states.” She added that there is “still a way out for Ukraine to save its European future and that we want the president to lead.” Click here to read the full article on kyivpost.com.
A delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will visit Ukraine to monitor the repeat parliamentary elections in five constituencies, which are scheduled for December 15, reads a statement posted on PACE’s Web site. The delegation, led by René Rouquet (France), will stay in Ukraine from December 13 to December 16. The delegation will meet in particular the Verkhovna Rada speaker, the leaders and representatives of political groups in the Verkhovna Rada, the chairman of the Central Election Commission, and representatives of NGOs and the media. Click here to read the full article on interfax.com.ua.
The use of force against peaceful demonstrators in Kyiv is unjustified, and a direct responsibility for this lies with the political leadership of Ukraine, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has said. “The use of force against peaceful demonstrators in Kyiv is unjustified. This is the direct responsibility of the political leadership of Ukraine,” the presidential press service quoted her as saying. Click here to read the full article on kyivpost.com.
The United States has expressed its “disgust” with the crackdown on protests in Ukraine in the early hours of Wednesday, when security forces stormed the protest camp, demolishing the barricades and tents put up in the center of Kyiv. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued such a statement on behalf of the U.S. government, Voice of America reported. “The United States expresses its disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in Kyiv’s Maidan Square with riot police, bulldozers, and batons, rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity. This response is neither acceptable nor does it befit a democracy,” he said. Kerry noted that for weeks, the United States has called on President Viktor Yanukovych and his government to listen to the voices of his people who want peace, justice and a European future. Click here to read the full article on Ukrinform.
One of the main reasons why Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership member states have not signed the Association Agreement with the European Union is that the EU has not cancelled its visa requirements for the citizens of either of these states, German political scientist, journalist and professor Alexander Rahr has said. ”The EU’s main mistake is that it acted with Ukraine just as it did with the Central European countries 15 years ago, when it did not cancel visa barriers at once. They used to say the following: you should start restructuring your economic and legal systems and your political institutions, while we will reward you by cancelling visas in a year, making trade relations freer in two years, and letting you sit at the same table with Brussels and other cities in three years. This stimulated all those countries to implement reforms faster. However, this scenario did not work out with Ukraine and other Eastern Partnership members,” the expert said on the Foucault’s Pendulum program on the Tonis TV Channel.He also said that the key idea of the Eastern Partnership – to release its member states from Russia’s influence – was wrong from the very beginning. Click here to read the full article on kyivpost.com.