The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the situation in Ukraine.
The resolution was tabled by the ALDE, S&D, EPP, Greens/EFA and ECR groups.
With regard to the Ukrainian general elections of 28 October 2012, Parliament expresses regret at the fact that, according to the OSCE, PACE, NATO Parliamentary Assembly and European Parliament observers, the electoral campaign, electoral process and post-electoral process failed to meet major international standards and constitute a step backwards compared with the national elections in 2010. It recalls that the general elections were considered a key test for Ukraine in signalling the irreversibility of the country's engagement towards the development of a fully-fledged democratic system, the consolidation of the rule of law and the continuation of political reforms.
Members cite the arrest of opposition political leaders, the lack of a level playing field caused primarily by the misuse of administrative resources, cases of harassment and intimidation of candidates and electoral staff, a lack of transparency in campaign and party financing, and a lack of balanced media coverage and the irregularities and delays in the vote count and tabulation process.
Parliament stresses the fact that effective cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union can only be realised on the basis of a clear willingness on the part of the Ukrainian authorities to implement the necessary reforms, in particular that of the legal and judicial system. It calls for effective support to be given to this reform process by the institutions of the European Union, the Council of Europe and its Venice Commission. It also recalls that the European Parliament's special envoy, Aleksander Kwasniewski, warned against attempts to isolate Ukraine, which could lead to the creation of favourable conditions for undemocratic regimes. Accordingly, Members confirm the EU's commitment to further advancing relations with Ukraine through the signing of the association agreement as soon as the Ukrainian authorities demonstrate determined action and tangible progress, as called for above, possibly by the time of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November 2013. They note that progress in political association and economic integration is dependent on Ukraine's tangible commitment to democratic principles, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and media freedom.
Parliament makes a strong appeal to the Ukrainian authorities to find, together with the European Parliament's envoys, Aleksander Kwasniewski and Pat Cox, a reasonable and just solution to the Tymoshenko case, and it urges the Ukrainian Government to respect the final decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on this case and the case of Yuri Lutsenko.
Welcoming the signing of the amended visa facilitation agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, which introduces clear improvements in the delivery of visas for Ukrainian citizens compared with the agreement currently in force, Members call on the Council to advance EU-Ukraine dialogue on visa liberalisation ahead of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November 2013.
They strongly appeal to VP/HR Catherine Ashton and Commissioner tefan Füle to step up the EU's engagement with Ukraine and to remain committed to work towards using the full potential of the relations between the EU and Ukraine for the benefit of the citizens of Ukraine and the EU, inter alia by ensuring steady progress in the visa liberalisation dialogue.
Parliament goes on to express concern about the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine, expressed in support for the Svoboda Party, which, as a result, is one of the two new parties to enter the Verkhovna Rada. It recalls that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles and therefore appeals to pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party.
Lastly, Members call on the Verkhovna Rada to reject Bill 8711, a liberticidal piece of legislation that will limit freedom of expression and assembly for those who support the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. They point out that this law is in clear breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both ratified by the parliament of Ukraine.