Procedure : 2014/2965(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0008/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 15/01/2015 - 11.6

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0008/2015

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))

Knut Fleckenstein, Victor Boștinaru, Richard Howitt, Tonino Picula, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Ana Gomes, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Ioan Mircea Pașcu, Kati Piri, Goffredo Maria Bettini, Neena Gill, Alessia Maria Mosca, Miroslav Poche, Michela Giuffrida, Brando Benifei, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Sorin Moisă, Nicola Caputo, Andi Cristea, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Tanja Fajon, Javi López, Victor Negrescu, Jeppe Kofod, Viorica Dăncilă, Zigmantas Balčytis, Arne Lietz, Afzal Khan, Tibor Szanyi, Boris Zala on behalf of the S&D Group

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

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the European Council conclusions of 18 December 2014,

–       having regard to the outcome of the first Association Council meeting between the EU and Ukraine held on 15 December 2014,

–       having regard to the 8th report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the situation of human rights in Ukraine of 15 December 2014 and to the Ukraine situation report No 22 as of 26 December 2014 by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),

–       having regard to the Council conclusions of 17 November 2014,

–       having regard to the European Council conclusions of 24 October 2014,

–       having regard to the Joint Statement by the Presidents of Ukraine, the European Council and the European Commission on the occasion of the beginning of the provisional application of the Association Agreement, 31 October 2014,

–       having regard to the Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions on the Early Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine, issued by the International Election Observation Mission on 27 October 2014, as well as to the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report of 19 December 2014,

–       having regard to its most recent resolutions on the situation in Ukraine,

–       having regard to the Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014 and to the Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014,

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

A.     whereas Ukraine continues to face serious political, security and socio-economic challenges; whereas the conflict in eastern Ukraine represents a serious impediment for the country’s stabilisation, development and prosperity;

B.     whereas, despite the declaration of a ceasefire on 5 September 2014 and a renewed commitment to that ceasefire in December, fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, though on a lesser scale than before; whereas according to UN estimates, the number of casualties has climbed to over 4 750, and as a result of the conflict there are more than 610 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine and almost 600 000 refugees in neighbouring countries, most of them in Russia;

C.     whereas, after a partial withdrawal of illegal Russian forces, the OSCE monitors reconfirmed in November the passing across the Russian-Ukrainian border of substantial amounts of heavy weapons and troops without insignia; whereas the removal of unlawful military formations and military hardware, as well as militants and mercenaries, from the territory of Ukraine, is a key provision of the Minsk Protocol;

D.     whereas the Ukrainian authorities held early parliamentary elections on 26 October 2014 in line with international commitments; whereas, on the contrary, the ‘presidential and parliamentary elections’ held in the Donetsk and Luhansk ‘People’s Republics’ on 2 November 2014, in breach of the Ukrainian Constitution and of the letter and spirit of the Minsk Protocol, are to be deemed illegal and illegitimate; whereas the holding of those elections had a detrimental impact on the peace and reconciliation process;

E.     whereas the humanitarian situation remains alarming in the Donbas region; whereas humanitarian access continues to be restricted and IDPs face considerable problems; whereas the suffering of the civilian population is intensifying during the winter; whereas more international assistance is needed to avoid a humanitarian emergency;

1.      Deplores the fact that violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law persist in eastern Ukraine and in Crimea and that the number of IDPs has risen considerably since the announcement of the ceasefire on 5 September; condemns all cases of forced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment, and insists that the reports of the use of cluster munitions in both urban and rural areas must be thoroughly investigated; calls on the Government of Ukraine and on all those involved in the hostilities in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk to implement the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine; welcomes the enactment of the long-awaited IDP law, which includes provisions for the social support and protection of registered IDPs, as well as the decision to deploy EU experts through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to advise the Ukrainian authorities on IDP issues;

2.      Calls for further humanitarian aid and assistance to conflict-affected populations; recalls that the delivery of humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine must be carried out in full compliance with international humanitarian law and the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and in close coordination with the Government of Ukraine, the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); calls on Russia to permit the international inspection of humanitarian convoys for Donbas in order to elude doubts about their cargos;

3.      Reaffirms its support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity, and independence of Ukraine; condemns the continuous inflow of weapons, equipment and troops from across the Russian border, and stresses that it must be immediately halted and that, as agreed in the Minsk Protocol, any illegal foreign forces, mercenaries and military equipment must be removed from eastern Ukraine;

4.      Urges all parties to fully implement the Minsk Protocol without further delay and thus demonstrate their true commitment to de-escalation and maximum restraint; calls on Russia to allow international monitoring of the Russian-Ukrainian border, to use its influence over the separatists to ensure they abide by the ceasefire, and to work constructively for the implementation of the Minsk arrangements; encourages the adoption of confidence-building measures that support the peace and reconciliation efforts; underlines, in this context, the importance of an inclusive political dialogue and an economic programme for the rehabilitation of the Donbas economy;

5.      Supports the continuing diplomatic efforts within the Normandy format, and welcomes the plans for a meeting of the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia in Astana on 15 January 2015, hoping that it will lead to tangible results;

6.      Looks forward to the 19 January debate of the European Council on the future of EU relations with Russia; invites the HR/VP and the Member States to chart an approach that combines a principled and robust position as regards Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and the principles of international law with a degree of strategic flexibility that allows for the pursuit of a negotiated solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, and takes into account the potential dangers of Russia’s further economic and political isolation; reiterates that unity and cohesion among EU Member States constitute a prerequisite for the success of any EU strategy towards Russia; in this context, calls on the governments of the Member States to refrain from unilateral actions and rhetoric, and to intensify efforts to develop a common European position vis-à-vis Russia;

7.      Supports the impartial work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and commends its reporting activities; urges the parties in conflict not to create obstacles to the work of the Special Monitoring Mission, and calls on the OSCE members to ensure that the mission has all necessary equipment and personnel to perform its mandate, as well as to increase its monitoring capabilities and capacity to facilitate dialogue on the ground;

8.      Welcomes the prisoner exchange agreement reached in Minsk on 24 December 2014, as well as the preliminary understanding to convene another meeting of the contact group on resolving the situation in Donbas as soon as possible; expresses satisfaction that an exchange of prisoners has already taken place, and calls on the conflicting parties to expedite the exchange of the remaining prisoners on an ‘all-for-all’ basis;

9.      Supports the policy of not recognising the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, and, in this context, takes positive note of the recently adopted additional sanctions on investment, services and trade with Crimea and Sevastopol;

10.    Believes that sanctions should be part of a broader EU approach towards Russia and of the efforts of HR/VC to relaunch the dialogue with Moscow; recalls that the sole aim of these sanctions is to commit the Russian government to change its current policy and contribute meaningfully to a peaceful solution of the Ukrainian crisis; stresses that the maintenance, reinforcement or reversibility of the EU’s restrictive measures depends on Russia’s own attitude and on the situation in Ukraine;

11.    Welcomes the orderly conduct, in line with international standards, of the early parliamentary elections held in Ukraine on 26 October, despite challenging security and political circumstances, and the formation of a broad pro-European coalition with a constitutional majority in the Verkhovna Rada; strongly encourages the new government and parliament of Ukraine to adopt and implement the much-needed political and socio-economic reforms without delay in order to build a democratic and prosperous state based on the rule of law;

12.    Regrets that as a result of the current situation in the country not all parts of the territory and population of Ukraine are represented in the Verkhovna Rada; recalls that the government and parliament of Ukraine need to ensure the protection of the rights and needs of those citizens who have no representation in the decision-making of the state, including when it comes to their linguistic, religious and social rights;

13.    Condemns the holding of ‘presidential and parliamentary elections’ in the separatist parts of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk on 2 November 2014, which violated Ukrainian law and the provisions of the Minsk Protocol, as well as their endorsement by Russia; notes that this move prompted the Ukrainian President to cut off all state funding to the separatist parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and to ask the country’s new parliament to revoke the law on their ‘special status’; is deeply concerned at the impact of these moves on the peace and reconciliation process;

14.    Calls for the resumption of a genuine and inclusive national dialogue that could also lead to a solution for the payment of social allowances and pensions and the provision of humanitarian assistance by the Ukrainian government to the conflict-zone population; encourages the implementation of an amnesty and disarmament programme; regrets that no explicit reference to the need for reconciliation is to be found in the government’s recently adopted programme of action;

15.    Takes the view that, in order to give reconciliation a real chance, it is of crucial importance to impartially and effectively investigate all major moments of violence, including those of Maidan, Odesa, Mariupol and Rymarska; fully agrees with the assessment of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine that investigations should be conducted in full compliance with international norms and standards and that perpetrators must be brought to justice in a fair and non-selective manner;

16.    Believes that civil society organisations can play an important role in facilitating people-to-people contacts and mutual understanding in Ukraine, as well as promoting democratic change and respect for human rights; urges the EU to step up its support for civil society;

17.    Reiterates its support for the international investigation into the circumstances of the tragic downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, and reiterates its call for those responsible to be brought to justice; regrets the obstacles faced in this process, and urges all parties to show genuine willingness to cooperate; expresses its wish to be kept informed on the progress of this investigation;

18.    Notes the adoption of a law that abolishes the ‘neutral status’ of the state; while recognising the right of Ukraine to freely make its own choices, supports the position of President Poroshenko that Ukraine now urgently needs to focus on political, economic and social reforms and that NATO accession is an issue that should be put to the people’s judgment in an all-Ukrainian referendum at a later stage; stresses that a closer relationship of Ukraine with the EU is distinct from the question of NATO accession;

19.    Reiterates its conviction that a lasting political solution requires urgently stepping up the political and economic reforms in Ukraine; stresses the importance of addressing the issues of the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary and providing tangible results in the fight against corruption, as well as proceeding with constitutional reform and decentralisation; welcomes the fact that the coalition agreement commits its signatories to adopt a series of important measures in these fields; notes, however, that there is no precise timeline for their adoption and implementation;

20.    Shares the opinion of the Venice Commission that in order for a constitutional reform to succeed it is essential that the reform is prepared in an inclusive manner, ensuring broad public consultations; believes that the provisions of political decentralisation should be worked out with regional and local stakeholders;

21.    Expresses concern over the adoption in August 2014 of anti-terrorism legislation that can impact on the fulfilment of international human rights legal standards; stresses that even though such criminal laws, which generally concern pre-trial investigation, preventive detention and the use of force by law enforcement authorities, have been adopted in order to deal with the situation in eastern Ukraine, the country´s delicate security situation does not preclude the fulfilment by Ukraine of its international legal obligations; calls, therefore, on the Ukrainian authorities to commit themselves to adherence to and compliance with international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and stresses that such commitment is crucial to building a truly free and democratic society;

22.    Encourages the Government of Ukraine to reconsider the prohibition of dual citizenship and the severe penalties for non-compliance, considering the large numbers of Ukrainian immigrants and refugees in neighbouring countries;

23.    Is concerned at the state of the Ukrainian economy, with an inflation rate of approximately 19.8 % and a 58.9 % devaluation of the national currency in the period January-October 2014, and its impact on the most vulnerable segments of society; underlines the need to carry out structural and economic reforms while paying attention to the social aspects, and invites the Government of Ukraine to fully involve the social partners in the reform process;

24.    Supports linking financial assistance to progress in the reform agenda, and in particular in the fight against corruption; supports the convening of a Donors’ Conference as soon as the new Ukrainian government has presented a National Reform Strategy and starts delivering; stresses, in particular, the implementation of the comprehensive anti-corruption legal package adopted on 14 October 2014, and looks forward to further steps on judicial reform, including a Justice Reform Strategy which will need to be prepared in close consultation with the Venice Commission;

25.    Calls for the approval of an updated version of the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda which can serve as a roadmap for the implementation of the Association Agreement;

26.    Encourages the Ukrainian authorities to advance with the implementation of all benchmarks under the second phase of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and to increase judicial cooperation with the EU with a view to achieving visa-free travel to the Schengen area as soon as possible; insists, in this regard, on the need for Ukraine to adopt anti-discrimination legislation that is fully in line with European standards, including with respect to the explicit prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation;

27.    Notes with satisfaction the recent signature of the Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) between the EU and Ukraine, which allowed the launch on 1 December 2014 of the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine (EUAM Ukraine), which will assist the Ukrainian authorities in reforming the country’s police and law enforcement sectors;

28.    Commends the Commission on its facilitation efforts that led to the signature on 30 October 2014 of an agreement on outstanding energy debt issues between Ukraine and Russia and of an agreement on an interim solution enabling gas supplies to continue during the winter; regrets, however, the fact that Russia continues to use energy as a foreign policy instrument; notes in this respect the irregular coal supplies from Russia to Ukraine as of 24 November 2014; stresses once more the importance of the EU Member States speaking with one voice in energy matters; underlines the importance for Ukraine of moving forward with energy sector reforms and the modernisation of its gas transportation system;

29.    Welcomes the provisional application of important parts of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement as of 1 November 2014 and the extension of the EU’s autonomous trade preferences for Ukraine up to the end of 2015; urges the ratification of the Association Agreement by all EU Member States as soon as possible; recalls that the Association Agreement does not constitute the final goal in EU-Ukraine cooperation;

30.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy, the EU Member States, the President, Government and Parliament of Ukraine and the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.

Last updated: 14 January 2015Legal notice