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Saturday, January 11, 2014

EU discusses sanctions against some Ukrainian officials as US Senate holds a meeting regarding current situation in Ukraine as fresh clashes erupted in Kyiv

EU parliamentarian Michael Galer
(Image: Deutsche Welle)
EU continues its talks and consultations regarding the possibility of imposing personal sanctions against some Ukrainian high officials representing the current government or affiliated with it, stated EU parliamentarian and member of European Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Affairs Michael Galer in his interview with Deutsche Welle. Though not all the information will be currently revealed due to the sensitivity of the issue and ongoing investigations, added politician.

Commenting US talks regarding the possible sanctions against Ukrainian authorities Mr. Galer declared that EU is willing to support those in Ukraine who wants to direct the country to Europe and European and democratic values. In addition to that, European Parliament and competent taxation and security services are holding the investigations over the financial assets of some Ukrainian high officials and members of their families in order to define the sources of these funds and their legality as EU officials suspect a lot of these financial assets have been gained through corruption schemes. But the information about these investigations and their results will be revealed later, after special examining will be conducted in Austria, Cyprus, Great Britain, Germany and other European countries where these officials save their funds.

Special security forces "Berkut" clashes with the protesters
(Image: Olena Bilozerska)
Mr. Galer also slammed Ukrainian authorities for the recent violent crackdown on the peaceful protests and further attacks and repressions against the journalists and activists claiming that these incidents are systematic and government is responsible for them as it should be responsible for the situation in the country.

Thus EU representative stated that the issue of the personal political and financial sanctions against some Ukrainian high officials connected to the Yanukovich’s regime could be possible imposed, as this option is being actively discussed. These sanctions could also affect the current President Victor Yanukovich and members of his family as well, as this family became extremely rich during very short period of time, and it should be also investigated, added EU parliamentarian.

Meanwhile US Senate is holding the special meeting regarding the current political situation in Ukraine amid the fresh clashes erupted on Friday, 10 January, in Kyiv between the peaceful protesters and special security forces. Victoria Nuland is expected to report on the issue. This meeting is being held also after the recent meeting of US Senate members with the representatives of Ukrainian Diaspora in US demanding the sanctions to be imposed against Ukrainian regime. US also considers the possibility of imposing the personal sanctions against Ukrainian high officials and members of their families, so this issue remains on the table and after the current clashes this scenario became more possible.

Protesters being chased by security forces
(Image: Olena Bilozerska)
On Friday, 10 January, several hundreds of peaceful protesters have gathered in front of the court building where three activists are being tried. The detainees received 6 years in prison. Protesters have surrounded the building and prevented the judge from leaving the court demanding the explanation and cancelling the decision. Several troops of special security forces “Berkut” have been deployed in the area where they’ve clashed with the protesters violently beating them and arresting some activists.  Clashes continued during several hours as many activists from the Independence Square and also activists of Automaidan came to support the demonstrators. Nearly 8 people have been seriously wounded, among them one of the oppositional leaders Yury Lutsenko. The situation has calmed currently, though the atmosphere remains tense.

Ukrainian opposition in its turn has called earlier for the National Council – another million-man march to be held on weekend.