Procedure : 2014/2965(RSP)
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Document selected : B8-0027/2015

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PV 15/01/2015 - 11.6
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to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Ukraine (2014/2965(RSP))

Helmut Scholz, Miloslav Ransdorf, Barbara Spinelli, Kateřina Konečná, Patrick Le Hyaric, Kostas Chrysogonos, Georgios Katrougkalos on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ukraine (2014/2965(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas the early parliamentary elections took place in a difficult political and security environment; whereas in parts of Ukraine it was not possible for the voters to participate in the elections; whereas the report by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) mentions that there was evidence of “cases of intimidation and obstruction that influenced their campaign strategies. In the last ten days of the campaign, observers noted a marked increase of violence targeting election stakeholders, intimidation of and threats against candidates and campaign workers, and cases of targeted destruction of campaign materials and offices. There were a number of credible allegations of vote buying...’; whereas there were reports of serious tensions at some district elections commissions, where armed members of a volunteer battalion were present around and inside; whereas the Ukrainian ‘Civil Network OPORA’ and the ‘Committee of Voters of Ukraine’ frequently reported several violations at polling stations, including ‘attempts to give ballots without passport verification, presence of unauthorised persons at polling stations, attempts of illegitimate voting, attempts to remove a ballot from a polling station, violation of voting secrecy, photographing a ballot paper as well as attempts of ballot box stuffing’; whereas the OSCE nevertheless concluded that that the ‘26 October early parliamentary elections marked an important step in Ukraine’s aspirations to consolidate democratic elections in line with its international commitments’;

B.     whereas political process in Ukraine is dominated by the ongoing civil war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions; whereas themes of national unity, territorial integrity and defence continue to dominate the political agenda; whereas, on the other side, the problems which led to the unrest in Ukraine in 2012 remain unresolved, including corruption, the economic and social crisis, distrust in politics and disillusionment with the political system of Ukraine due to the continued political influence of the oligarchic structures; whereas there is no progress in the implementation of the reform agenda; whereas the failure of the new government and parliament to start the fight against corruption undermined the confidence of the people of Ukraine and the international community in the political process in Ukraine;

C.     whereas Ukraine is on the brink of an economic and social collapse; whereas Ukraine’s GDP shrank by 7.5 % between January and November 2014 and inflation jumped to 21 % by November; whereas the risk of default is rising and the country needs USD 15 billion more than that which is being provided through the existing international support programmes;

D.     whereas the socioeconomic demands of the Maidan movement have been largely replaced by the neoliberal and nationalistic agenda of the new government; whereas the 2015 budget envisages deep cuts in social spending while increasing defence spending to 5.2 % of GDP; whereas these cuts have been decided upon in an extremely difficult economic and social situation; whereas in the first nine months of 2014 prices increased by 16.2 %, while utility rates increased by 24.3 % on average; whereas 1.7 million people are unemployed (8.4 % of the economically active population) and many of those who are employed are not receiving payment; whereas the situation of the approximately 5.2 million people living in the conflict and post-conflict areas is particularly difficult due to the considerable breakdown and disruption of the economic infrastructure and social services; whereas the availability of health care in those areas is increasingly limited;

E.     whereas the paramilitary units of the oligarchs and the far-right have not been dissolved and are continuing their violent activities in the country; whereas Ukraine’s Minister of Interior, Arsen Avakov, has offered these paramilitary units new heavy weapons, including tanks and armoured personnel carriers, and given them enhanced brigade status; whereas Vadim Troyan, the deputy commander of the right-wing Azov Regiment and active member of the paramilitary organisation Patriot of Ukraine, has been appointed by the Ukrainian Minister of Interior as the head of the Kiev police; whereas Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, who has openly promoted Joseph Goebbel’s ideology, will head up propaganda and analysis in the Security Service of Ukraine;

F.     whereas European and international peace and stability is endangered by growing tensions between the EU, Ukraine, and the US and other Western countries, on the one hand, and the Russian Federation, on the other hand: whereas an extremely dangerous political and military escalation between the West and Russia is taking place; whereas dozens of sensitive military incursions have occurred between Russia and NATO member states over the past year, some coming close to triggering hostilities;

G.     whereas the failure to find a mutually acceptable negotiated solution to the Ukrainian crisis has had severe consequences for the Russian economy; whereas the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU are aggravating Russia’s financial and economic problems, resulting from the decline in oil prices and other problems in the Russian economy;

H.     whereas despite efforts by the international community to bring the conflicting sides to the negotiation table, the war in the east of Ukraine continues; whereas the conflicting sides are show a lack of political will to find a compromise and to implement the agreements reached;

I.      whereas the Ukrainian Parliament backed a proposal by President Poroshenko to cancel the country’s non-aligned status only hours after the announcement of fresh negotiations on the settlement of the military conflict in the east of Ukraine; whereas the announcement of a referendum on the accession of Ukraine to NATO is further aggravating political tensions in the country’s relations with Russia, which perceives Ukraine’s potential accession to NATO as a direct threat to its security and to the strategic military balance between Russia and NATO;

1.      Calls urgently for dialogue and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine and to find political solutions to those problems which led to the Ukrainian crisis; reiterates its call to preserve the unity of the Ukrainian people and the territorial integrity of Ukraine; strongly supports the Minsk process and urges the parties to adhere to the agreements already reached and to develop these agreements in new negotiations into a more transparent and clear roadmap with concrete benchmarks to be fulfilled by all negotiating parties; supports the reinforcement of the role of the OSCE in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis;

2.      Calls urgently on all parties to the conflict in the east of Ukraine to stop the violence; calls on the US, Canada, the Member States and Russia to impose and strictly implement an arms embargo against all parties to the conflict, and calls for the withdrawal from Ukraine of all foreign military advisers and military and paramilitary personnel; calls strongly on both the Russian Federation and Ukraine to exercise effective control of their border with a view to reaching a peaceful settlement to the conflict and to end the incursion into Ukraine of armed personnel and military equipment from any country;

3.      Denounces the enlargement of NATO to the borders of the Russian Federation; strongly rejects the plans of the new Ukrainian Government to apply for NATO membership as an additional element of a policy of confrontation with the Russian Federation which would further destabilise the region and the international security system as a whole;

4.      Calls urgently on Russia, the US and NATO to end the policy of military pressure and calls for an immediate end to the spiral of military escalation, to end military manoeuvres and provocative actions and to reduce military presence in the conflict regions; rejects strongly the deployment of additional NATO military units and assets in eastern Europe; forewarns that the failure to re‑open a results-oriented dialogue with Russia could have dangerous consequences for peace and security in Europe and the world;

5.      Calls for the EU to relaunch a goal-oriented political dialogue with Russia with a view to rebuilding trust and finding solutions to all pending issues and controversial questions; calls for the reinstatement of the dialogue formats which existed between the EU and Russia before the start of the Ukrainian crisis at all levels of the EU institutions; urges the EU to end its sanctions policies against Russia which have resulted in a trade war between the two strategic partners, are having a negative impact in particular on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), farmers and consumers in Russia, the EU and the countries of the EU’s eastern neighbourhood, and which have proven, above all, to be politically ineffective and counter-productive;

6.      Calls for the use of the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Act in 2015 to confirm and fully implement the norms and principles thereof, to rebuild trust and to start negotiations on an effective cooperative security system in Europe based on the UN Charta and OSCE norms which takes into account the interests of all countries in Europe; underlines the urgent need to resume and pursue conventional arms control and improve the effectiveness of existing confidence- and security-building measures, and enhance transparency mechanisms, modernising them and broadening their scope; calls for the elaboration of new confidence-building and transparency measures with a view to preventing the outbreak of similar conflicts in the future;

7.      Notes the results of the parliamentary elections in Ukraine; reaffirms its condemnation of the trial against the Communist Party, which started during the election campaign; invites the newly elected parliament and the relevant authorities to address the shortcomings identified by, inter alia, conducting effective investigations into the irregularities identified by national and international monitors during the elections, proceeding with the necessary legal actions against those responsible for irregularities during the elections, reforming the electoral system by improving regional representation and increasing voters’ influence over their representatives in parliament by adopting a multi-constituency proportional representation system, fully implement the recommendations of both the OSCE and the Venice Commission in order to reinforce transparency in the financing of political parties and election campaigns, and ensuring that the elections legislation is in line with international standards;

8.      Calls on the Government of Ukraine to revise its austerity policy with a view to meeting the urgent social needs of the population, in particular as regards heating, the supply of energy and health care;

9.      Calls on the Government and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to meet the expectations of the Country’s population for real and profound reforms with a view to ending the current crisis and to lead the country to political, economic and social stability by means of, inter alia:

•  consistent eradication of corruption;

•  establishment of the rule of law;

•  decentralisation and profound guarantees as regards the democratic participation of the people in the regions in all important decision-making processes, in particular in the field of social and economic development;

•  definitive decoupling of the oligarchs from politics under democratic control;

•  respect for human and democratic rights, including language rights;

•  dissolution of the paramilitary units and reinstallation of strict state control over the police and army;

•  immediate transparent, democratic and legal parliamentarian control over all security forces in the country and disarmament of all paramilitary and private so‑called security forces;

10.    Calls urgently for the EU to link further financial and economic assistance for Ukraine to the implementation of such a reform agenda;

11.    Expresses concern that the Ukrainian politicians and authorities continue to show unacceptable ignorance of the danger of the far right and even openly neo-Nazi forces, cooperating with them in elections and allowing them to take positions in law enforcement; stresses that allowing people with extreme-right views control over positions with significant enforcement resources poses an obvious danger to democracy; calls urgently on the Ukrainian Government and the democratic political forces to break all links with groups and/or militias from the extreme right;

12.    Reiterates that an eastern neighbourhood policy which does not take into account the interests of all actors concerned, including Russia, has failed; underlines the need to redesign eastern neighborhood policy with a view to developing regional cooperation which does not exclude any country; invites Russia proactively to participate in such a process and to show its willingness to take part in good neighbourhood policies;

13.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Parliament and Governments of the Member States, Ukraine and Russia and the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

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