An ongoing saga: Kalashnikov, the Party of the Regions and Strasbourg
The leader of the parliamentary faction of the Party of the Regions Raisa Bohatyryova today told journalists in Strasbourg that the decision to expel Oleh Kalashnikov had almost “matured”. She said that the decision would be taken at a congress of the Party “this may be in May, or perhaps later. She also said that the main thing was that positive changes took place in Oleh Kalashnikov himself.
National Deputy [MP] Oleh Kalashnikov, who has been very active over the last weeks since the Presidential Decree dissolving parliament, gained fame (so to speak) in July of last year after he attacked a TV STB cameraman and verbally abused a female reporter from the same channel outside the Verkhovna Rada. A video cassette was also forcibly removed and never returned. A criminal investigation was launched and a Verkhovna Rada committee instructed to look into the matter, which concluded in December that the Verkhovna Rada should condemn the National Deputys actions. At the time, there were calls for Kalashnikov to be expelled from the Party, but nothing has thus far been done.
Viktor Yanukovych was questioned by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe yesterday about Kalashnikov. Asked why he had not been expelled, Yanukovych said that this was because there had been no Party congress.