MENU
Documenting
war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Similar articles

Former Soviet political prisoners call on Holland to say yes to Ukraine’s European futurePlaying with fear and ignoranceHow a democratic tool became a threat to democracyUkrainian Jewish leaders appeal to Holland: Give our country the chance to break with the pastDutch referendum puts Ukraine in spotlight80-year-old wheelchair-bound Ukrainian rescued after being left within a pension in occupied Donbas for refusing to take Russian citizenshipRussia’s ruling party makes food aid dependent on ‘support for Putin’ in occupied Ukraine Medical terrorism: Russia blocks access to healthcare to foist its citizenship and overcome resistance in occupied Ukraine Show trial begins in Russia of 25-year-old Iryna Navalna seized in Mariupol and tortured because of her name European Broadcasting Union study exposes “brutal Russification” in Russian-occupied Ukraine ‘He called to set Kremlin on fire,’ — theater director was accused of terrorism for a chewing gum wrapperRussia forced to close school in occupied Kherson oblast for lack of teachers willing to collaborate Russia stages ‘trial’ of young Ukrainians abducted and tortured into ‘confessing’ to terrorismYoung Ukrainian seized in Russian-occupied Mariupol because of her name faces huge sentence on fake terrorism charges Young Crimean faces possible prison sentence for kicking the Russian flag because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Ukrainians in occupied territory refused life-saving insulin unless they take Russian citizenshipUkrainians in occupied territory forced at gunpoint to vote for fake candidates in Russia's pseudo-election Russia makes repeating lies about its war against Ukraine mandatory in all schools, including on occupied territory Ukrainian priest stripped, detained and persecuted for praying for Ukraine and refusing to collaborate with the Russian invaders Russia fabricates idiotic language motive for first trial and likely huge sentence against Ukrainian PoW

Ukrainian PEN asks Dutch colleagues to support a YES vote

21.03.2016   
It is Ukrainian civil society that has pushed our governments towards closer cooperation with the EU, towards acceptance and unambiguous implementation of European rules and standards, democratic institutions and practices, liberal stances and policies.

On the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and Dutch Referendum.

An Open Letter to the Dutch Colleagues

Kyiv, March 16, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

On the eve of the Dutch national referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association and Free Trade Agreement, we kindly ask you to use all your moral authority and institutional weight to support a YES vote. Your YES will determine the fate of 45 million people in Ukraine, the EU’s largest neighbor, for years to come.

Ukraine is a fledgling democracy that is struggling to overcome a grim legacy of colonial subjugation, totalitarian terror, and postcommunist oligarchic misrule. It is Ukrainian civil society that has pushed our governments towards closer cooperation with the EU, towards acceptance and unambiguous implementation of European rules and standards, democratic institutions and practices, liberal stances and policies.

For us, the Association Agreement is not about the economy, if only because, due to restrictive tariffs and trade barriers in crucial sectors, the EU will benefit most in the short to medium term. It is not even about the possibility of membership, however desirable. Most Ukrainian actually recognize its current infeasibility – and the Agreement does not envisage anything of the kind.

Rather, the Agreement is about Ukraine’s becoming fully European. It’s about guidance and guardianship, about “learning by doing”, about the “conditionality machine” that makes further cooperation between the EU and Ukraine dependent on the speed and scope of implemented reforms.

For us, the Agreement has above all a symbolic importance. This is exactly how the Dutch vote will be perceived in Ukraine: as either an expression of European moral integrity and solidarity with a new democracy or as an ominous sign of growing parochialism, egotism, and ambiguity.

The timing of the referendum is dramatic. Unfortunately, Ukraine could become a collateral victim of the ongoing refugee crisis, Mr. Putin’s poisonous propaganda, and deepening Western indifference to its own professed values. Ironically, Ukraine neither serves as a transit route for nor supplies its own refugees to the West, – largely due to ongoing cooperation with the EU in improving border control and institutional capacity.

It is up to the Dutch people to make their choice. We can only appeal to your moral sense, humanistic tradition, and strategic concern for the continent’s future.

Whatever you do, we Ukrainians will not give up in our drive to join Europe. We have paid too high a price for our European choice throughout history and we will continue our westward drive – either in cooperation with the EU or without. A NO vote by the Netherlands won’t stop Ukraine’s pro-European choice. The only problem is that the human costs of the latter course would be much higher.

We have no doubt that there are enough people in your country to tip the balance, and we hope that they will actively support the just cause.

 

On behalf of the Ukrainian PEN

Mykola Riabchuk, the president

Andrey Kurkov, vice-president

Myroslav Marynovych, former president and long-time political prisoner

Volodymyr Panchenko, vice president, professor of the University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”

Leonid Finberg, board member, director of the Center for Jewish Studies at NaUKMA

Kostiantyn Sigov, board member, director of the Center for European Studies at NaUKMA

Yevhen Zakharov, board member, head of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group

Elena Stiazhkina, board member, professor of the Donetsk National University

Taras Vozniak, board member, editor of the “Ї” magazine

Andriy Pavlyshyn, board member, chair of the Amnesty International Ukraine

 Share this