PACE Co-Rapporteurs: Serious measures cannot be excluded
Mailis Reps, one of the two Co-Rapporteurs on Ukraine for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, presently on a fact-finding mission to Ukraine, was asked whether the possibility was being considered of depriving Ukraine of its vote in the PACE Monitoring Committee, in the PACE altogether or even suspending its membership of the Council of Europe.
Ms Reps said: “All of that is possible, , however we hope that Ukraine will not go that far”.
“It’s most likely that at the January session no extreme measures of influence will be applied with respect to Ukraine. The language and tone of the resolution will change”.
“As far as negative scenarios are concerned, fears are mainly linked with the parliamentary elections approaching. If the electoral legislation is used in a certain manner then your country will really have serious problems”.
“Another variant – if the politically motivated use of criminal legislation continues, if we receive every more evidence that the judicial system is not independent. We have, unfortunately, already received such signals”.
“So in January there will only be a different tone to the report on Ukraine, however in six months the situation can change”
Ms Reps also noted that just a few months ago “before the trials of former high-ranking politicians, a number of positive processes were taking place in Ukraine.”
Answering a question regarding the turning point with regard to the change in PACE position, Co-Rapporteur Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin said that this was the same as with the EU’s position – the deterioration came with the detention of Yulia Tymoshenko in August. She says that up till then there had been the hope that she would be allowed the right to an honest trial, but with her detention they realized that this would not be the case.
She added that “the situation with freedom of assembly is also arousing serious concern. Many of the people we speak with talk of problems in the area of press freedom and say that self-censorship is becoming more obvious. In the main report we also gave attention to the law on public broadcasting. There is also the question of how the electronic media are developing, and how frequencies are allocated”.