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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ukrainian Diaspora calls for Barack Obama Administration to impose personal sanctions against Ukrainian high officials

Massive anti-government protests in Kyiv
(Image: Lviv Daily)
Representatives of Ukrainian Diaspora in USA have met with the representatives of Barack Obama’s Administrations in order to discuss the possible ways to influence Ukrainian authorities and to support Ukrainian citizens in their struggle for equality and democracy, as massive anti-government protests, called Euromaidan, are ongoing in Ukrainian capital and in other cities as well with the high numbers of demonstrators, despite the New Year’s and Christmas holidays and vacations.

The meeting held on Friday was aimed to find the possible solutions of the current political crisis in Ukraine which is deepening, and during the meeting of Ukrainian Diaspora with the representatives of the Council of National Defense of USA the list with the names of Ukrainian high officials against whom the sanctions should be imposed was presented to Presidential Administration.

Among the names of the representatives of Ukrainian current regimes are the names of Vitaly Zakharchenko, Ukrainian Minister of Interior, Andriy Klyuyev, Secretary of the Council of National Defense of Ukraine, Gennadiy Kernes, governor of Kharkiv, Mykhaylo Dobkin, head of Kharkiv city administration, and many others, who are believed to be responsible for the violent dispersals of the peaceful protests and for recent oppressions of the activists. According to US law, personal sanctions, if imposed, apply to all the family members including children of these persons and freeze also financials assets.

Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson for US Department of State
(Image: Jewish News)
However, Deputy Spokesperson for US Department of State Marie Harf stated on Monday, 6 January, during the press conference, that the issue of imposing personal sanctions against some Ukrainian high officials isn’t approved at the current stage, but US Administration studies all the possible variants of influencing Ukrainian authorities and supporting the citizens of Ukraine, including the sanctions. “As we said, all options are currently on the table, including sanctions”, said Mrs. Harf.

It’s also worth mentioning that US Senator and Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez has met recently representatives of Ukrainian Diaspora and also of Ukrainian-American organizations in order to discuss current unrest and political crisis on Ukraine and possible solutions.

“We stand with the citizens of Ukraine who meet in Kiev’s Maidan Square seeking their human rights and dignity”, said Mr. Menendez during this meeting. – “Ukrainians should be allowed to determine their own destiny”, added Senator criticizing Russian attitudes towards Ukraine and recent pressure.

Meanwhile, several EU parliamentarians have already announced that European Parliament and European institutions have started investigations over the sources of the financial assets of some Ukrainian high officials allocated in European banks. 

Robert Menendez, US Senator and Chairman of
Senate Foreign Relations Commitee
(Image: Wikipedia)
There have been also talks about the possibility of imposing personal sanctions against Ukrainian authorities responsible for the recent violent events, but this process in EU is relatively hard and long as all the countries-members of EU have independent governments, so the decision should be discussed and agreed by the majority of the members. Though EU has openly expressed its support of Ukrainian citizens and their aspirations and representatives of EU key institutions continues to claim the doors of EU are open for Ukrainians, and the Association Agreement could be signed in the nearest future, if there will be political will form Ukrainian side. 

However, many European politicians have declared they are disappointed in current Ukrainian government and cannot trust these authorities and Victor Yanukovich anymore.

Massive anti-governmental protests, so called Euromaidan, continue in Kyiv and in other cities as well with tens of thousands demonstrators attending the rallies and participating in the sit-ins. Automaidan, another initiative of revolutionary activists, also continues its marches to the residences of Ukrainian high officials in attempt to spread the protests’ message outside of Independence Square. Several incidents of attacks against the activists and attempts of the government to intimidate protesters didn’t change the moods and readiness of Ukrainians to stand till the victorious end, according to the statements of the protesters.