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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ukrainian protesters prepare for the decisive Tuesday’s Parliamentary session as opposition has met with Angela Merkel

Euromaidan anti-government protests in Kyiv
(Image: Kyiv Post)
Ukrainian activists and protesters are preparing for the Tuesday’s massive march to the building of Parliament, where the decisive session is expected to be held. Oppositional MPs demand voting for the Constitutional reform in order to amend the current national Charter and to return to the 2004 Constitution, limiting powers of President and establishing parliamentary-presidential form of governance instead of the presidential one, what allowed Yanukovich to build a strong vertical of power working for his interests and oppressing freedoms and rights of Ukrainians.

Another issue expected to be discussed and voted during the Tuesday’s Parliamentary session is the candidacy of the new Prime Minister and forming of the interim government. Opposition claims EU and Western countries support forming of transitional technical government in Ukraine which will include figures representing various political powers and factions of Ukrainian society, and this government could receive financial aid form EU. Though Yanukovich’s regime prepares its own candidate, who is expected to be pro-Russian, as Yanukovich and his government don’t lose hopes for the next tranches of Russian credits. Appointment of such a candidate could have a terrible impact on the development of the situation and deepen the current crisis, as the atmosphere is extremely tense.

Barricades in Euromaidan
(Image: Kyiv Post)
The amnesty law, which implementation should ensure the release of all the detained activists after the administrative building have been freed by the protesters on Sunday, 16 February, came into effect on Monday, 17 February, but the procedures could take some time, and closure of the cases of activists and their release could occur within one month, according to the press service of Ukrainian General Prosecution. Though the oppositional leaders and activists of Euromaidan demand not the amnesty, but the total rehabilitation of the activists, so the situation is still tense, as people don’t believe the authorities and are disappointed with the latest steps of the oppositional figures claiming the role of Maidan leaders.

Meanwhile massive rally is planned to be held on Tuesday in order to strengthen the pressure on the Parliament during the decisive session. Oppositional leaders and organizers of Maidan claim the presence of the big numbers of protesters and their pressure and peaceful protest would play a big role and push the MPs including representatives of the ruling pro-Yanukovich Party of Regions to vote for the changes to Constitution.

There are though a lot of worries of the oppositional and some independent MPs regarding Tuesday’s session, as there are several possible scenarios could be implemented by regime in order to restrict the possible achievements of the draft laws to be voted on Tuesday. Among these scenarios is voting for the changes of Constitution and for the new Prime Minister in the package, what could be really dangerous for the opposition. Andriy Parubiy, member of the oppositional Batkivshchyna (Homeland) Party and prominent leader of Maidan, declared that opposition should do everything possible on Tuesday to prevent the voting for the pro-Yanukovich and pro-Russian candidate for the position of Prime Minister. Parliament should be even blocked, if it will be needed, claimed Mr. Parubiy. That is why presence of big numbers of protesters is very important for Tuesday’s session.
Units of radical Right Sector during the protests
(Image: Kyiv Post)

Maidan activists, self-defense units and units of radical “Right Sector” prepare for the massive rally on Tuesday and are totally ready for the peaceful protests and for resistance, if there will be some provocations or violence, stated the leaders of the groups. The march is expected to start at the morning, with the forming of the columns at 8 a.m. and starting the march at 8:30 a.m. Dozens of thousands of protesters are expected to gather for the march.

Prominent oppositional figures Vitaly Klichko and Arseny Yatsenyuk have visited Germany and met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several high officials of Germany on Monday, 17 February, just one day ahead of the Tuesday’s Parliamentary session in Ukraine. Angela Merkel has invited Ukrainian oppositional leaders in order to discuss political situation and crisis in Ukraine, the possible ways to resolve it and to see the program and roadmap of opposition.

The meeting has brought good results, declared Mr. Yatsenyuk and Mr. Klichko during the official press conference in Berlin, held after the meeting with Mrs. Merkel.

Euromaidan activists on Grushevsky Street
(Image: Global Voices Online)
Oppositional leaders announced that Angela Merkel is good informed about the situation in Ukraine and claimed that Germany and EU are willing to support Ukraine and to help to resolve the crisis in a peaceful way. The key demand and condition is avoiding of the further violence and using force, release of the detained activists and accountability of all those responsible for the violence against the peaceful protesters. German government and EU also welcome the talks and compromises between the opposition, Maidan and authorities in order to resolve the crisis without violence.

Oppositional leaders have declared also there have been talks regarding the ways of resolving the crisis, and Mrs. Merkel has supported the roadmap presented by the opposition. There have been also talks about different options of pressure of EU and international community on Ukrainian government, and the issue of sanctions still remains on the agenda, though Angela Merkel stated that she would prefer to postpone the possibility of imposing sanctions as there are still hopes to resolve crisis through the negotiations.

Ukrainian oppositional leaders Vitaly Klichko and Arseny
Yatsenyuk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
(Image: Reuters)
EU will also support Ukraine financially and give financial aid to the new interim government, not the government of Yanukovich. This new transitional government should be technical and consist of the figures representing different political powers and factions of society, professionals and it should also have support and trust of the people of Ukraine, stated Angela Merkel. If such a government will be formed, EU will support Ukrainian economy with the help of IMF and other institutions funds, which will be given for the long-term systematical reforms and projects aimed to develop economical and social situation in the country and to implement democratic values and freedoms.

Meanwhile, Head of European Parliament Martin Schulz has declared on Monday, that EU is ready to sign Association Agreement with Ukraine in the nearest future, right after Ukraine will resolve its political crisis and in case Ukraine will not express new conditions, as it happened with Yanukovich’s government. The possible deadline could be at the end of March, as there will be elections of the European Parliament, and the new members of it would be probably not interested in Ukrainian issue, as Eastern European Partnership program isn’t their project.