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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ukrainian Parliament could start the next session with the formation of the Constitutional Committee

Independence Square in Kyiv
 (Image: UNIAN)
After the extraordinary session of Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) has been held and parliamentarians have voted for cancelling the dictatorial 16 January laws and for the controversial amnesty law, speaker of Ukrainian Parliament Mr. Rybak has stated, that the next session to be started on Monday, 3 February, could start with the discussions of the amendments of Ukrainian Constitution and formation of the special Constitutional Committee.

According to the statement of Mr. Rybak, this Committee should consist of the representatives of various political forces, oppositional and pro-government ones. The agreement about it was reached between the leaders of opposition and representatives of government on Wednesday, stressed Parliament’s Speaker.

In order to amend the national charter, MPs should be present at the meetings of all the profile committees of Parliament, stated Mr. Rybak.

Oppositional forces in their turn have registered in Ukrainian Parliament their project of law regarding the amendments of Ukrainian Constitution. This project was submitted to the Parliament and registered on Thursday, 20 January. According to the representatives of the oppositional forces, 226 votes of parliamentarians will be enough to amend the Constitution according to this draft law.

Ukrainian oppositional leaders
(Image: News Radio)
Meanwhile, situation in Kyiv and Ukraine remains tense, as massive anti-government protests and confrontations continue. Hundreds of activists remain under arrest and facing trials for their activities, dozens of activists have disappeared, and there is no information about them till now. Criminal attacks committed by the so called “titushki”, thugs hired by the regime to rob, attack and intimidate activists of Maidan, are ongoing in Kyiv and in the regions, where these criminals are often working under protection of the local police, according to the reports and statements of the journalists covering the issue and eye-witnesses. More than 20 cars of Ukrainians, mostly with the car signs of the Western regions, were burnt tonight in Kyiv.

President Victor Yanukovich though has addressed Ukrainians on Thursday stating that he and his government made everything possible in order to resolve the current crisis and made serious compromise steps, and now people should leave Maidan and streets of other Ukrainian cities and stop their protests. Yanukovich has also accused oppositional leaders of using the people’s protest for their own purposes and exploiting the idea of Maidan and escalating the situation.

As for the international reaction, Western countries continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine closely urging the sides to continue negotiations and to find the compromise in order to resolve the crisis and to avoid further violence. USA Administration has already imposed personal sanctions and visa restrictions against several high officials in Ukraine and is considering further sanctions, probably financials restrictions and freezing of the bank accounts of Ukrainian officials responsible for the recent violence and crisis in the country. Canadian government has already imposed sanctions against Ukrainian officials involved in the cases of human rights violations and abuses and violence in the country. EU diplomats and representatives in their turn are also considering the possibility of imposing sanctions and continuing investigations of financial assets of some Ukrainian high ranking officials and their family members, close to Yanukovich.

Victor Yanukovich, still President of Ukraine
(Image: Reuters)
In addition to that, Parliament Assembly of European Council has supported today the resolution regarding Ukraine and its political situation and also recommendations of the Council of Ministers of Europe. Text of the resolution is strict and indicates clearly that EU doesn’t see it possible to continue relations with Ukrainian government in the same way as it was before due to the recent events.

Ukrainian former Minister of Foreign Affairs Volodymyr Ogryzko stated that this resolution could have positive impact on the development of the situation in Ukraine. First of all, EU officials have demonstrated Ukrainian government and  Victor Yanukovich, that the current attitudes of Ukrainian officials towards the protesters and violations of human and civil rights are unacceptable. In case Ukrainian government will continue to rule in the same style, EU will impose sanctions. But at the same time the doors for dialogue remain open for Ukraine. In addition to that resolution criticizes seriously Russian involvement in Ukrainian affairs and its pressure on Ukraine.

Meanwhile Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski has stated today, that EU should continue the talks regarding signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and EU, but EU should guarantee Ukraine the perspective of becoming a member of EU in the future.