Freedom House President sees no alternative to penalties
The President of Freedom House, David Kramer has said that some public officials in Ukraine should be penalized by withholding visas.
He told Ukrainian Week that they had been holding high level talks and that he had personally met with President Yanukovych. He said that the authorities talk a lot about commitment but that they aren’t prepared to keep them. “We’ve reached the stage where where the only way to somehow change the situation is to apply penalties. At least some kind of penalties”. He said that they had been talking for too long about some kind of carrot, and that the time had come for serious conversation.
With respect to the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Mr Kramer said that this has not worked, and that he must assume that Yanukovych is not interested in signing it.
He said that Freedom House and the OSCE would be calling for the use of personal sanctions against Ukrainian officials. While saying that he doesn’t want to exaggerate his organization’s role, their reports are treated very seriously.
In order to begin the process with respect to Ukraine, he said, the US Congress must pass the Magnitsky List law regarding Russia. The situation with Russia is worse, he adds, and the sanctions will be more severe.