Procedure : 2014/2841(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0125/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 18/09/2014 - 10.4
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

PDF 132kWORD 67k

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 and the state of play of EU-Russia relations (2014/2841(RSP))

Helmut Scholz, Miloslav Ransdorf, Pablo Iglesias, Kateřina Konečná, Sofia Sakorafa, Emmanouil Glezos, Georgios Katrougkalos, Jiří Maštálka, Martina Michels on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ukraine and the state of play of EU-Russia relations (2014/2841(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the report on the human rights situation in Ukraine of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 17 August 2014,

–       having regard to the Amnesty International briefing on ‘Abuses and war crimes by the Aidar Volunteer Battalion in the north Luhansk region’ of 8 September 2014,

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

A.     whereas the war in the east of Ukraine has taken a heavy toll on the human rights and humanitarian situation in the region, with at least 36 people being killed on average every day, thousands of people injured and hundreds of thousands fleeing the region, and crucial infrastructure being destroyed;

B.     whereas peace talks in Minsk between representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the armed groups, under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), finally resulted in a ceasefire and an exchange of prisoners;

C.     whereas the war in the east of Ukraine has further fuelled the division of Ukraine; whereas the new president and government of the country have so far been unable to build a bridge between the different parts of Ukrainian society; whereas many of the violent incidents taking place against local officials and activists of political parties and civil society organisations and journalists seem to be coordinated; whereas bomb threats have increased in most of the major cities and, in reaction, law enforcement measures and emergency preparedness have been stepped up;

D.     whereas there are worrying signs of serious violations of democratic rules and freedoms in Ukraine, which are further aggravating the chances of overcoming the tense socio-economic situation and political hostilities in the country, such as the dissolution of the parliamentary group of the Communist Party of Ukraine, the trial which is intended to lead to the prohibition of that party, and a new law which allows the authorities to prohibit or restrict television and radio broadcasting, to restrict or terminate media activities, including on the internet, to restrict or prohibit the production or distribution of printed materials and to restrict or terminate telecommunication services and the use of public telecommunications networks – new so-called anti-terrorism legislation, which violates Ukraine’s obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and the association agreement with the EU; whereas the new government is failing to control the infamous and violent Right Sector movement; whereas these developments are seriously jeopardising the free and fair conduct of the forthcoming parliamentary elections;

E.     whereas war in the east of Ukraine and the neoliberal agenda of the new government, which is implementing the conditions of the loan from the International Monetary Fund, are having an increasingly negative impact on the economic, social and cultural rights of Ukrainian citizens, not only in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but in the whole country: whereas, as of July 2014 there was evidence of further decline in the economic situation: GDP decreased by 4.7 % compared to last year, the consumer price index grew by 11.6 % and the unemployment rate increased from 8 to 8.8 %; whereas the parliament approved amendments to the budget on 31 July, which will make cuts to social programmes, pensions, unemployment and disability benefits, and the salaries of state employees; whereas these cuts will have a disproportionately adverse effect on women, as they constitute 67 % of the population over 65 years of age, 55 % of the registered unemployed and 75 % of state employees; whereas on 12 August 2014 the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine reported that out of 93 mines (which provide a large proportion of the jobs available in the eastern regions), only 20 were fully functioning, 48 were semi-operational, 6 were flooded and others were closed and/or damaged;

F.     whereas the spiral of sanctions and counter-sanctions imposed by the EU and Russia on each other is having an increasingly negative impact on the economies of both sides, but has proved to have little political impact;

G.     whereas NATO has misused the conflict in Ukraine to reinvent its raison d’être by defining Russia as an enemy and to reinforce its presence in Russia’s immediate neighbourhood in violation of existing international agreements; whereas the confrontation between NATO and Russia constitutes a threat to peace and security in Europe;

1.      Welcomes the fact that the consultations between the Contact Group and representatives of armed groups have resulted in a ceasefire agreement; welcomes the start of discussions between the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia, which have played a part in the breakthrough, and strongly encourages the continuation of these contacts; calls as a matter of urgency for the continuation of the negotiations with a view to finding a political solution to the conflict; supports the reinforcement of the role of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, including the monitoring of the existing ceasefire;

2.      Stresses that the current deep political crisis in Ukraine cannot be resolved by military means, but requires a profound nationwide debate on the necessary constitutional, political and economic reforms and the country’s geopolitical orientation; reiterates its support for any peaceful solution to the civil war in the east of Ukraine; expresses its deep concern at the statements by Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk threatening a state of emergency ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections, and at the plan to construct a border wall along the Ukraine-Russian Federation frontier; stresses that such statements contradict the peace plan of the elected President of Ukraine and exclude the possibility of holding fair, democratic and transparent parliamentary elections on 26 October;

3.      Calls on Russia, the EU and the US to stop fuelling the conflict by providing political and material – including military – support to the parties to the conflict; calls for an arms embargo on all parties to the conflict and the withdrawal of all foreign military advisors and other military and intelligence personnel from Ukraine; calls on Russia to effectively control its borders with Ukraine with a view to preventing the illegal influx of weapons, ammunition and military personal into Ukraine, and supports the proposal to actively involve the OSCE in verifying security on the border between Ukraine and Russia and settling related disputes;

4.      Expresses its deep concern at the growing number of privately financed combatants and military and paramilitary structures in Ukraine, and calls on the Commission and Council to impose effective sanctions on any legal and natural persons directly or indirectly involved in the financing of such structures or persons;

5.      Expresses its deep concern at the reinforcement of cooperation between NATO and Ukraine; strongly rejects any enlargement of NATO, including by taking in Ukraine; calls for a new security system for Europe which will take the security interests of all countries and peoples into account; underlines in this context that in the past the NATO-Russia Council has not proven to be a suitable format for this purpose; calls on the High Representative to submit in the short term to the European Parliament a concrete proposal for a new format for open discussions with Russia on common security interests, and to explore all possibilities for active involvement of the OSCE in this context;

6.      Expresses its deep concern at the decisions of the recent NATO summit held in Wales; stresses that the renewed confrontation between NATO and Russia is the result of failed policies of NATO and the EU, such as the enlargement of NATO to the borders of Russia, the violation of international law, e.g. in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, the failure of the EU to take into account the economic interests and historical relations linking Russia to countries in the common neighbourhood, and the failure of the EU to establish a real strategic partnership with Russia on the basis of a renewed partnership and cooperation agreement;

7.      Is extremely concerned at the propaganda war between the EU, the US, Ukraine and Russia; urgently calls on all sides to replace the verbal escalation by a result-oriented dialogue on those issues which are controversial;

8.      Stresses that Russia is a strategic partner for the EU and its Member States, and urgently calls for the restarting of the political dialogue with a view to finding solutions to the controversial issues; strongly rejects the implementation of further measures and sanctions against Russia as announced on 12 September by the Council, and considers these measures unnecessary at a time when there is an attempt to implement the ceasefire agreed by the parties in Ukraine; urges the EU to end the policies of sanctions against Russia which have resulted in a trade war between the two partners with negative consequences in particular for SMEs, farmers and consumers in Russia and the EU and have proven to be ineffective;

9.      Strongly criticises the fact that the EU continues to turn a blind eye to the real situation in Ukraine, uncritically supporting the current Ukrainian government, as well as to the political and military role of the far right, the extreme nationalist and xenophobic forces present in Ukraine, the violence exercised by those forces, the consequences of the policies decided by the new government following the conditions set by the IMF and the EU, the worsening situation of human rights and democratic freedoms, and the humanitarian situation of the civilian population in the east of the country;

10.    Reiterates that Ukraine has the potential to be a bridge between the EU, Russia and other countries in the region and deplores the fact that the new government of Ukraine is disregarding this strategic option; calls on the Ukrainian government to work to overcome the contradiction between Ukraine’s European aspirations and the continuation of mutually advantageous relations between Ukraine and Russia; takes the view that this would be an important step towards overcoming the current crisis in the country;

11.    Strongly criticises the fact that the European Parliament renounced the exercise of its duty to assess the political, economic and social implications of the Association Agreement (AA) and the integrated Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between the EU and Ukraine; calls on the national parliaments of the Member States to carefully assess those implications before giving their consent;

12.    Calls for a stop to the ratification process by the European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada; calls on the Council and Commission to present a new roadmap which will be transparent to all citizens in the EU and Ukraine , setting out further steps for organising the economic relationship between the EU, Ukraine and the Russian Federation, following the presentation of an agreement between the EU, Ukraine and the RF on 12 September to delay the entry into force of Chapter 5 of the AA (i.e. the EU-Ukraine DCFTA), for another 15 months up to 31 December 2015, owing to the ‘very difficult economic situation in Ukraine’ and its possible impact on the economies of all 28 EU Member States;

13.    Expresses its concern at the fact that just days before the parliamentary elections, the outgoing Ukrainian parliament gave its consent to the association agreement with the EU; deplores the fact that a decision of such strategic importance for the future of the country was taken without extensive consultation of the population;

14.    Strongly condemns the instigation of a legal ban on the Communist Party, with the party being brought to court and its parliamentary group being dissolved; denounces the continuing violence against the leadership and members of the Communist Party and the attacks on its offices; is in particular concerned that these developments are taking place in the pre-election period, making the worsening state of democratic freedoms in the country visible; strongly criticises the fact that the EU is ignoring these developments, which clearly violate the obligations of Ukraine stemming from the Association Agreement with the EU and other international agreements Ukraine is party to;

15.    Expresses its deep concern that weeks before the beginning of the heating period, the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine is still not solved; makes an urgent call on Russia and Ukraine to resume constructive economic and energy cooperation with a view to ensuring that energy prices are affordable for all; reiterates its view that the Ukraine has to fulfil its contractual obligations to ensure gas transit between Russia and the EU without any restrictions; calls in this context on the Commission to enforce, using whatever means, compliance on the part of Ukraine with this agreement and with Article 338 of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which constitute an important pillar of the EU’s security of gas supply;

16.    Calls, with reference to Article 8 of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, on the Ukrainian President to instruct the competent Ukrainian authorities to create the conditions for timely ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and its related instruments; reiterates its demand that all crimes, regardless of which side committed them, must be resolved in full in the context of the need to end the situation of impunity in the Ukraine; points out that this has not happened so far with regard to the murders on the Maidan or those in Odessa;

17.    Reiterates its concern at the level of representation of far-right, extreme nationalist and xenophobic politicians in the new Ukrainian Government and at the failure of the Ukrainian government to control the Right Sector movement; considers it disturbing that irregular armed forces with a nationalist and far-right background have been integrated into the Ukrainian security structures, and calls on the Ukrainian government to change this situation; supports the urgent call made by Amnesty International on the Ukrainian government to put an end to the abuses and war crimes committed by volunteer battalions operating alongside the regular Ukrainian armed forces;

18.    Calls on the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that legislative reforms comply with international norms and standards and Ukraine’s obligations under human rights treaties, and to guarantee human rights and democratic freedoms in daily life; calls on the Commission and the European Parliament to closely monitor these aspects of the Association Agreement and to act in case of violations of those obligations;

19.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Parliaments and Governments of Ukraine and Russia, and the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe.

Legal notice - Privacy policy