Commenting on the passage of a package of laws by the Ukrainian parliament yesterday, which seriously restricts the freedom of assembly and the activities of non-governmental organisations, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms stated:
"These laws amount to an anti-democratic putsch, which scuppers all previous democratic progress Ukraine has made. If these laws are truly implemented, it would have catastrophic consequences for Ukrainian society, going beyond similar Russian legislation. This arbitrary and politically-motivated move threatens all opposition activities, as well as those of the media. The activities of non-governmental organisations would become practically impossible, with indications the authorities are preparing a 'black list' of politicians, experts and NGO employees who would face travel restrictions.
"The EU cannot leave this draconian move, which undermines existing agreements, unanswered. If the legislation enters into force, the EU must respond with serious sanctions against all members of the government and their families, freezing European bank accounts and revoking EU entry visas."
Green foreign policy spokesperson Werner Schulz added:
"The government majority in the Ukrainian parliament have shown themselves to be true vassals of Moscow. The proposed laws are a massive blow to those in Ukraine and the EU, who have continued to push for a democratic and European future in spite of recent setbacks. All European political forces must now unite and intervene to support democracy in our European neighbour."
Werner Schulz will be member of a European Parliament delegation which will visit Ukraine from 28-30 January.