Kyiv Post | Interfax-Ukraine.  The European Parliament on Thursday supported a joint resolution on Ukraine by a simple majority. 

The vote took place during a plenary session in Strasbourg without any debate beforehand.

In its resolution, the European Parliament proposed that the European Commission hold a meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych ahead of the EU-Ukraine summit in order to "re-establish a constructive dialogue."

"[The EP] considers that the recently postponed meeting with President Yanukovych would have offered an excellent opportunity to tackle serious concerns addressed towards the Ukrainian government and re-establish a constructive dialogue that could lead to the Association Agreement to be initialed provided there is significant progress on both technical and vital political obstacles still in place; calls on the [EU] Council and the [European] Commission to reschedule the recently postponed meeting with President Yanukovych ahead of the foreseen EU-Ukraine Summit in December 2011," reads the document.

This clause is one of the closing in the resolution. It is preceded by other provisions that cover a range of bilateral relations, starting from the strategic level – the recognition of Ukraine's aspirations for EU membership, and ending with recommendations on the examination of possible mistakes in decision-making at the government level in special parliamentary commissions.

"[The EP] takes the view that a deepening of relations between the EU and Ukraine and the fact of offering Ukraine a European perspective are of great significance and in the interests of both parties; recognizing Ukraine's aspirations pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, provided that all criteria, including respect for the principles of democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, are met," reads the resolution.

As for the case of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the EP "deplores the sentencing of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as a violation of human rights and an abuse of the judiciary for the purpose of the political suppression of Ukraine's leading opposition politician."

In this connection, the parliament said that the "law selectively applied against Tymoshenko dates back to Soviet times and makes provision for criminal prosecution for political decisions; whereas Articles 364 and 365 of that law, which are currently under review by the Verkhovna Rada, do not conform to European and UN standards."

"[The EP] urges the Ukrainian authorities to ensure a fair, transparent and impartial legal process should Yulia Tymoshenko appeal against her conviction, and in the other trials against members of the former government; insists that Yulia Tymoshenko should be allowed to exercise her right to participate fully in the political process both as of now and in the forthcoming elections in Ukraine," reads the resolution.

The parliament expressed concern that "the Tymoshenko trial is at odds with the Ukrainian government's proclaimed commitment to democracy and European values."

"[The EP] takes the view that a failure to review Yulia Tymoshenko's conviction will jeopardize the conclusion of the Association Agreement and its ratification, while pushing the country further away from the realization of its European perspective," reads the document.

The European Parliament also expressed concern at the detention of former Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and other similar cases.

In this connection, the EP insisted that "all judicial proceedings against former and current senior government officials should be conducted in accordance with European standards of fairness, impartiality, transparency and independence."

The EP also expressed "concern at some signs of decline in democratic freedoms and at the possible use of state institutions for partisan purposes and to exact political revenge."

"[The EP] expresses alarm at reports concerning the deterioration of media freedom and pluralism in Ukraine; calls on the authorities to take all necessary measures to protect these essential aspects of a democratic society and to refrain from any attempt to control, directly or indirectly, the content of national media reporting," reads the resolution.

The parliament also stressed that "the strengthening of the rule of law and internal reform, including a credible fight against corruption, are essential not only for the conclusion and ratification of the Association Agreement and the deepening of EU-Ukraine relations, but also for the consolidation of democracy in Ukraine."

The EP also welcomed "the agreement that has been reached on the conclusion of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement; regards this agreement as a solid basis for the possible finalization of the negotiations on an Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine."

The parliament also "strongly supports the recommendations put forward in the joint opinion of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on the draft parliamentary election law; considers it essential that these recommendations should be adopted and implemented in an expedient, inclusive and comprehensive fashion, involving both the opposition and civil society."

"[The EP] urges all political forces in Ukraine to conduct a fair and transparent debate about the political decision-making process; insists that investigations into possible failures in that process should be carried out by a parliamentary committee of inquiry," reads the document. 

Note: We will post a link here to the full text of the resolution as soon as it becomes available.


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