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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Ukraine of 17 July 2014
19 July 2014 01:14

The European Parliament,

-          having regard to its previous resolutions on the European Neighbourhood Policy, on the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and on Ukraine, with particular reference to its resolution of 17 April 2014 on the Russian pressure on EaP countries and in particular destabilisation of eastern Ukraine,

-          having regard to the Joint Statement of G-7 Leaders in The Hague of 24 March 2014,

-          having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 17 March, 14 April, of 12 May, and of 23 June

-          having regard to the European Council conclusions of 20 march and 27 June 2014,

-          having regard to the final report on the early presidential elections in Ukraine of the OCSE/ ODIHR International Election Observation Mission;

-          having regard to the signature of the final parts of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and DCFTA on 27 June 2014;

-          having regard to the reports by the  United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Ukraine of 15 May And 15 June 2014,

-          having regard to the statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission of 1 April 2014,

-          having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure,

 

  1. Whereas Ukraine continues to face serious security, political and social-economic challenges; whereas the conflict in the east of Ukraine represents a serious impediment for the country’s development and prosperity;
  2. whereas the Russian occupation and annexation of Crimea violates international law and Russia’s international obligations stemming from the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the Statute of the Council of Europe and the 1994 Budapest memorandum on security guarantees, as well as bilateral obligations deriving from the 1997 Bilateral Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership;
  3. Whereas on 25 May 2014 Petro Poroshenko was elected new President of Ukraine; whereas the election was monitored by an international election observation mission led by the OSCE/ODHIR and - despite the hostile security environment in east Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia - the election was deemed to have been largely in line with international commitments and with respect for fundamental freedoms in the vast majority of the country;
  4. Whereas the new President Petro Poroshenko put forward a 15- point plan for a peaceful settlement of the situation in east of  Ukraine preserving the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Ukraine based on amnesty for those who surrendered and did not commit grave crimes, the establishment of controlled corridors for the retreat of Russian mercenaries and the launch of an inclusive dialogue;
  5. Whereas President Poroshenko introduced as a first step a unilateral ceasefire for the period of 20 – 30 June to enable consultations between Ukraine, Russia and separatist forces; whereas the unilaterally declared cease-fire by the Ukrainian government was  repeatedly violated, mainly by the separatists, and has led to deaths on both sides;
  1. whereas on 25 June 2014 the Russian Federation Council approved a decision of President Putin to renounce the right to send Russian armed forces to the territory of Ukraine,
  2. whereas on 27 June 2014 the Foreign Affairs Council confirmed the analysis of the Commission that Ukraine has fulfilled all the benchmarks under the first phase of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and moved to the Second Phase of the Visa Liberalisation process;
  1. Whereas on 27 June 2014 the EU  and Ukraine signed the remaining provisions of the AA/DCFTA; whereas the agreement recognises the aspirations of the people of Ukraine to live in a country governed by European values, by democracy and the rule of law;
  2. Whereas President Poroshenko decided to renew the Anti-Terrorist Operation to defeat the separatist insurrection in the east after the failure of unilateral ceasefire; whereas the Ukrainian army took back control of several cities in East Ukraine forcing rebels and mercenaries to withdraw towards Donetzk, whereas however violence still continues;
  3. Whereas the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine met in Berlin on 2nd July and agreed to set of measures aimed at leading to a sustainable mutual truce in Eastern Ukraine;
  4. Whereas President expressed his willingness to announce a second ceasefire on three conditions, given that the cessation is bilaterally fulfilled, that all hostages are released and that effective control of the border is monitored by OSCE;
  5. Whereas President Poroshenko declared on 14 July that Russian military staff officers were fighting against Ukrainian forces alongside separatist rebels and that a new Russian missile system has been established; whereas according to NATO sources Russia has allegedly been sending main battle tanks, artillery and other weapons to the rebels and allowing mercenaries from Russia to cross the border to join rebel militias;
  6. Whereas a three party consultation meeting between the EU, Ukraine and Russia was held in Brussels on 11 July 2014 on the implementation of the EU – Ukraine AA/DCFTA; whereas this is a useful process that can overcome long lasting different understandings, explaining the benefits of the AA/DCFTA and taking into account all legitimate concerns of all parties;

 

  1. Welcomes the signature of the remaining provisions of the Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area and is convinced that the Agreement will be a driving force for political and economic reforms, bringing about modernisation, strengthening of the rule of law and economic growth; expresses its support to Ukraine in proceeding with the provisional application of the Agreement; declares that the European Parliament will complete its ratification procedure of the Agreement  as soon as possible; calls on Member States and Ukraine to swiftly ratify it in order to provide for its full implementation as soon as possible; stresses that the AA/ DCFTA is in no way connected to NATO integration;
  2. Warmly welcomes as well the signing of the Association Agreements with Georgia and Moldova, which mark the beginning of a new era in the political and economic relations of these countries with the EU; calls for their swift ratification  and  welcomes that the parliament of Moldova has already done so; refutes the adoption of “punitive” trade measures by Russia against those countries that have signed Association Agreements with the EU as these agreements do not pose threats to Russia; underlines that these moves are in  contradiction to the rules of the WTO, politically motivated and therefore not acceptable;
  3. Welcomes Petro Poroshenko's election in the first round to the office of President of Ukraine in a fair and democratic election; the result of the election shows a strong support of the population for a European and democratic perspective of their country;
  4. Supports the peace plan as a major chance for de-escalation and peace; supports President Poroshenko’s decisive actions to guarantee the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine; welcomes his commitment to address the problem of systemic corruption and abuse of public funds; reiterates that Russia is involved in military action and supply; urges Russia to fulfil its international obligations, to genuinely commit to the peaceful settlement negotiations and to use its real influence to stop any violence;
  5. Calls for a new meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement in the South Eastern Ukraine and supports new ways of communication between the parties;
  6. Stresses the fundamental right of the Ukrainian people to freely determine their country’s  economic and political future  and reaffirms the right of Ukraine to self-defence, in line with article 51 of the UN Charter; reminds that the international community supports the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine; urges the Ukrainian security forces to fully respect international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) when conducting so-called anti‑terrorist operations, and stresses the need to protect the civilian population and calls on rebels and mercenaries to do the same and not use civilians as human shields; underlines the need for a political solution of the crisis and urges all sides to demonstrate restraint and stick to a ceasefire, which needs to be declared and strictly implemented as soon as possible;
  7. Condemns Russia’s aggression on Crimea as a grave violation under international law of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and rejects Russian policy of fait accompli in foreign relations; considers annexing of Crimea as illegal and refuses to recognise Russian de facto rule on the peninsula , welcomes the decision to prohibit the import of goods from Crimea and Sevastopol which do not have a Ukrainian certificate and encourages other countries to introduce similar measures in line with UNGA Resolution 68/262;
  8. Condemns the on-going violence and daily loss of lives in the East of Ukraine and the destruction of homes and properties and the flight of many thousands civilians from the conflict areas to safe heavens; welcomes the goodwill shown by the Ukrainian side when adopting the unilateral ceasefire and regrets that the rebels and mercenaries refused to follow that example; is deeply concerned about the safety of ordinary people who remain trapped in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas; deplores the loss of lives and the fact that children have been registered among the victims; expresses its heartfelt condolences to their family members; condemns any targeting of the civilian population and calls for strict compliance with international humanitarian law;
  9. Calls on Russia to support the peace plan with true determination, to adopt measures to effectively control its own border with Ukraine and stop the continued incursion of illegal armed men, arms and equipment, hostile action and infiltration , to immediately reduce and pull back its troops from the border with Ukraine, to use its power over the rebels and mercenaries  to force them to respect the ceasefire, lay down their weapons and to withdraw back to Russia via a retreat corridor, as offered in the Poroshenko peace plan as first long-awaited concrete steps to prove that Russia is serious towards de-escalating the crisis;
  10. Deplores and demands an immediate release of Ukrainian air force navigator Nadija Savchenko illegally detained and held in Russia as well as the release of all hostages held in Ukraine or Russia;
  11. Calls on the VP/HR and the EEAS to have a greater presence and visibility in the dialogue mechanisms established to solve the crisis, including the Contact Group;
  12. Welcomes the extension of the current sanctions to further 11 people mainly officials of the so-called separatist authorities; welcomes preparatory work by the Council, EEAS and Member States for further sanctions against Russia, which should  include economic, financial and energy sector sanctions, and arms and dual-use technology embargo; calls for a collective arms sale ban on Russia and urges its implementation until the situation in east Ukraine has normalised; warns that any further steps by Russia to destabilise Ukraine will lead to additional and far reaching consequences for the EU-Russian relations;
  13. Demands the Council to call on Russia to fulfil its obligations under international law and to apply the third phase of sanctions should the situation so require; 
  14. Urges the European Council to adopt a more coherent and firmer strategy, to speak with one voice, vis-à-vis the Ukrainian crisis and the behaviour of the Russian government; including on matters related to   EU energy security; deplores that some Member States are showing disunity in this regard and lack of EU solidarity;
  15. Supports a renewed, mutually agreed ceasefire in order to stabilise the security situation, achieve a genuine de-escalation and create momentum for the implementation of President Poroshenko's peace-plan, that is conditional upon the cease-fire being respected bi-laterally, hostages  released and  effective border control  monitored by OSCE; welcomes the latest successes of the Ukrainian forces in  east Ukraine to gain back control in several important cities;
  16. Strongly believes that the role of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should be strengthened, with increased material and financial means to support Ukraine in securing and monitoring the regions alongside its border; 
  17. Reminds the Ukrainian government that domestic economic and political reforms are urgently needed; points out that they should not be initialled only due to external pressure, but should be based on solid popular support for creating sustainable economic and social opportunities by modernising the country;
  18. Calls for an independent and impartial investigation of all cases of deadly events and crimes against humanity in all parts of Ukraine as of November 2013 with the inclusion of a strong international component and under the supervision of the Council of Europe and for those responsible to be brought to justice; is convinced that only the effective investigation of these crimes will help the Ukrainian society and the families and friends of the victims to restore the trust in the institutions;  
  19. Reminds of the necessity to ending in Ukraine the systemic and structural curtailment of human rights, bad governance, the widespread corruption and the colossal shadow economy; stresses the importance of the on-going process of constitutional reform underlines the importance of supporting the development of civil society in achieving a true participatory democracy which  promotes and protects human rights, ensuring justice and good governance for all people in all regions of the country and thus contributing to the security and stability of the country;  calls for the adoption of an anti-discrimination law in line with European standards;
  20. Underlines the need for confidence-building between various communities in society, and calls for a sustainable reconciliation process; emphasises, in this context, the importance of establishing an inclusive national dialogue and of avoiding propaganda, hate speech and rhetoric including from Russia which may further aggravate the conflict;
  21. Considers that it is of the utmost importance to start a gradual process of decentralising central powers to regional and municipal administrations without undermining the internal balance of powers and the effective functioning of the state;
  22. Welcomes the adoption of the public procurement law and invites its diligent implementation; expects prompt establishment of a politically independent Anti-Corruption Agency with powers to investigate corrupt conducts;
  23. Stresses the need to strengthen the rule of law, also by engaging in judicial reform which would contribute to restore citizens’ trust in the judiciary, and the need to de-politicise and de-militarise the structures of the law enforcement bodies;
  24. Welcomes the decision to establish a robust civilian CSDP mission  to Ukraine; calls on the HR/VP and Member States to speed up its deployment; is convinced that this mission needs to have an ambitious mandate in order to support effectively the Ukrainians in the necessary and in-depth effort to stabilise the situation in the country;
  25. Reiterates its support for the intention of President Poroshenko to conduct early parliamentary elections; underlines that these elections must be conducted in line with recommendations of the Venice Commission;
  26. Expresses deep concern over the worsening human rights and humanitarian situation in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea caused by rebels and mercenaries instigated by Russia, with regards to torture, killings, disappearances of journalists and activists and hostage taking, including cases of child abductions; calls for better protection of civilians and for granting  humanitarian aid by Ukrainian authorities in the concerned regions;
  27. Draws attention, in this connection, to the recent report of Amnesty International and expresses its firm condemnation of the abductions, savage beatings, torture, murder, extrajudicial killings and other serious abuses of human rights and breaches of humanitarian law against activists, protesters, journalists and many other citizens not active in the conflict in eastern Ukraine that have occurred over the last three months, perpetrated mainly by armed separatists and in some cases also by government forces; supports the call on the Ukrainian Government to create a single and regularly updated register of incidents of reported abductions, and to thoroughly and impartially investigate all allegations of abusive use of force, ill-treatment or torture;
  28. Underlines the necessity to find a clear, fair and stable solution to ensure the security of gas supply from Russia to Ukraine, as this is a necessary prerequisite for the economic development and for the stability of the Ukraine; believes that the EU should continue to play its role in facilitating an agreement allowing Ukraine to pay a competitive not politically motivated price for its gas purchase; stresses that the use of energy resources as a foreign policy tool undermines the long-term credibility of Russia as a reliable trading partner for the EU and that further measures to lower the EU’s dependency on Russian gas must be a priority;
  29. Calls on the Member States to ensure sufficient gas supply through reverse gas flow from EU neighbouring states; to this end welcomes the Memorandum of Understanding on reverse flows between the Slovak Republic and Ukraine to encourage Ukraine to establish a transparent and reliable gas transportation system; recalls the strategic role of the Energy Community of which Ukraine holds the presidency in 2014; welcomes that cooperation with Ukraine forms an integral part of the European Commission's "European Energy Security Strategy" presented in June 2014;
  30. Welcomes that the Ukraine has recently moved to the 2nd phase of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan, which reconfirms the determination of Ukraine to put in place the necessary legislative, policy and institutional framework; expresses its firms conviction that the end-goal should be a swift introduction of a visa-free regime; calls in the meantime, for the immediate introduction of temporary, very simple, low-cost procedures on EU and Member States level;
  31. Welcomes the creation of the Support Group for Ukraine by the European Commission, which will ensure Ukrainian authorities with all necessary assistance in undertaking political and economic reforms and will work on the implementation of the ‘European Agenda for Reform’;
  32. Underlines the need to defend European interests and values and to promote stability, prosperity and democracy in the countries of the European continent;
  33. Reiterates its view that the AAs with Ukraine and the other EaP countries do not constitute the final goal in their relations with the EU; points out in this connection that, pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – like any other European state – have a European perspective and may apply to become members of the Union provided that they adhere to the principles of democracy, respect fundamental freedoms and human and minority rights and ensure the rule of law;
  34. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, Commission, the governments of the Member States, the President, Government and Parliament of Ukraine, the Council of Europe, and the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.
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