Ukraine should have fresh elections – or face EU sanctions

12-Dec-2013 @ 13:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Ukraine's president should dissolve its government, form a new coalition and call a general election in order to give his country afresh start and a better future, a senior MEP told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Charles Tannock, Conservative spokesman on foreign affairs and human rights, said the EU must be prepared to consider sanctions if no progress was made in Kiev and violence was used by the authorities to suppress peaceful protests.

He told a debate on Ukraine: "After nearly a decade of reform, the current government has seemingly discarded the prospect of a democratic future in Europe, in favour of the crony capitalism authoritarian model offered by Putin's Russia.

"The protest movement in the Maidan show us the true heart of Ukraine and the desire of its people to embrace a European future based on shared common values of democracy and the rule of law. The scenes witnessed in the early hours of Saturday 30th were shocking for those there and those around the world who have watched them online subsequently.

"Unfortunately, force seems to be the template for the government's approach in dealing with the current political crisis, as we saw with the deployment of riot police. Whilst unsuccessful, this was a clear attempt by the government to use the state apparatus to quell a peaceful,democratic protest.

" President Yanukovich and his government have lost legitimacy in the eyes of the electorate. It is time for him to appoint a new coalition government and call early elections in order to restore political stability and seek a mandate for Ukraine’s geopolitical future.

"I pay tribute to the brave young men and women camping out in the Maidan against a backdrop of repression and in the freezing cold.

"We must not be reluctant to consider imposing EU targeted economic sanctions if no progress is made. Many of the financial assets of those close to the regime are deposited in EU banks."

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