Council of Europe’s patience with Ukraine running out


Marietta de Purba-Lundin, Co-Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Ukraine has explained the reasons for the clearly articulated warning of sanction if political prisoners are not freed. As reported, this was set out in the 26 January PACE resolution "The functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine."  

Marietta de Purba-Lundin said that time would show what kind of sanctions were meant, and stressed that all depended on how the Ukrainian authorities acted and whether they implemented the PACE demands set out in the Resolution.

She acknowledges that there was no unanimous support for their position on Ukraine but said that the majority of those voting had supported the provisions regarding the possibility of sanctions if Kyiv does not make changes. She said that some countries are concerned that if the Council of Europe starts putting pressure on Ukraine, they’ll begin putting pressure on their countries as well.

There is no fixed deadline as such, but visits are planned for March and May in order to see what is happening with their own eyes.

“The EU has already sent its political signal, just take for example, the statements about politically motivated charges in the cases of former government officials. The USA also clearly articulated its position. Now we are also saying it out loud. Although Ukraine is not a member of the EU it is in the Council of Europe and other international organizations. The main message therefore of this resolution was the call on the President to release former members of Tymoshenko’s Cabinet of Ministers. Some have already spent over a year behind bars”.

Asked about PACE’s key demands, Ms de Purba-Lundin said that this was in the first instance the release of former government officials. President Yanukovych must use all available legal levers for this. She stressed that they should also be allowed to take part in the coming parliamentary elections.

“I hope that they will listen to us, in particular members of the authorities. I would rather it didn’t come to the talks about sanctions. But I want to emphasize that we listened to both points of view at the beginning of the week. Therefore, they can be sure that both sides were heard”

"Ukraine must fulfill all its commitments undertaken when joining the Council of Europe. Many have however yet to be fulfilled. We can say that the Council of Europe’s patience is running out. The Ukrainian judicial system is still very flawed, which is most clearly demonstrated by Yulia Tymoshenko’s case, although the failings do not only affect her. A lot needs to be changed”.

From a report at, , 15699183, 00.html

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