STATEMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF UKRAINIANS IN GREAT BRITAIN LIMITED (24 FEBRUARY 2014)

24.02.14




Ukrainians in Great Britain and all over the world will never forget the events of the past week, which saw over 80 people killed on the streets of Kyiv, a European capital city, for exercising their legitimate right to protest for human rights, human dignity and democracy. We remember them with pride, but also with great sadness that it took so many deaths before the western world fully realised the depth of corruption and criminality of ex-President Yanukovych and his government.

Ukraine is now rebuilding itself as a true parliamentary democracy, but will need the full support of the UK Government and the EU to allow it to do so in a way which protects and strengthens Ukraine’s sovereignty and unity.

We welcome the statements of support made by the UK’s Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon William Hague and those of other EU leaders. However, now, more than ever, those statements need to be backed by strong and decisive action. We call on the UK and EU to take the following immediate steps:

  • Continue to stress to Russia, in the strongest possible terms that Ukraine’s sovereignty is inviolate and that neither Ukraine nor the rest of the world will allow any moves towards separatism;
  • Implement the EU decision on sanctions by freezing the European bank accounts and assets of President Yanukovych, his family, Ukrainian government Ministers and officials who are responsible for the violence against unarmed civilians, and of all those who have backed this criminal regime;
  • Assist the interim Ukrainian government to locate ex-President Yanukovych and those ex-Ministers and advisers who are now in hiding so that they can be brought to justice for their crimes against human rights and the Ukrainian people;
  • Provide all possible assistance to the interim Ukrainian government to organise Presidential elections which meet European standards of fairness and transparency, including by increasing the number of EU and UK observers;
  • Provide an aid and development package, including a resumption of IMF loans, which will allow the interim government to stabilise the economy and set a path towards increased economic growth and prosperity;
  • Provide expertise to help the unity government in Ukraine to introduce urgently needed reforms to the judiciary and eradicate the endemic corruption which has afflicted all spheres of political and social life. 
  • Re-open negotiations with the new Ukrainian government which will allow the Association and Deep Free Trade Agreements to be signed with the EU as soon as possible.

 

There is an historic opportunity now for Ukraine to become a fully democratic, European state. Ukraine’s people are committed to a better future: one that rejects the corruption of the past and returns respect for human rights and equal opportunities back to the people. The UK and EU now need to show equal commitment to helping Ukraine fulfil its hopes and aspirations.

AUGB General Council



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