Daily digest of main Ukrainian news (Euromaidan focus) February 10

2014/02/10 • Daily Updates, News

Kyiv, 8 – 10 February 2014

Interior ministry opens criminal proceedings against influential NGO.Ukraine’s interior ministry has opened criminal proceedings against Centre UA, Ukrainian NGO involved into investigations of corrupt offences of current authorities, accusing it of money laundering. However, NGO’s chief Oleh Rybachuk links interior ministry-initiated case to Centre UA professional activities, saying that authorities “continue their systematic repressions against civil society.”

Lithuania’s President met Bulatov. Dalia Grybauskaitė, Lithuania’s President, met Dmytro Bulatov, a leader of Automaidan, who receives medical treatment in Vilnius after being kidnapped and tortured. The President and the activist discussed Ukrainian crisis and the EU’s role in its settlement, Grybauskaitė’s press service reported. Bulatov thanked the President for her country’s support to injured activists with Grybauskaitė noting that the EU is ready to help by any possible way to find a peaceful solution of the crisis. “Ukrainians are fighting for democratic future of their country,” the President stressed, adding that a peaceful way out of the crisis should be found as soon as possible.

6 countries are ready to provide medical treatment to injured activists. Oleh Musiy, a coordinator of EuroMaidan medical service, said that 6 countries (Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany and Canada) are ready to provide injured activists with medical treatment. The activist will not pay for the treatment and rehabilitation regardless of how much time it may last, Musiy added.

PoR demands Prosecutor’s Office to assess calls for setting up paramilitary units across Ukraine. Following the call of Andriy Parubiy, the EuroMaidan commandant, to set up self defense units across Ukraine, the Party of Regions (PoR) appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office demanding it to give legal assessment of such calls. The establishment of paramilitary units is illegal the PoR recalled, adding that this should be criminally prosecuted. Opposition goes too far, the PoR underlined, stressing that paramilitary units may set Ukraine into civic war following the Libyan example.

Titushki threaten Ruslana by physical violence.  Ruslana, a popular artist and a leader of EuroMaidan, informed about threats she receives from the Titushki. Gangs are constantly tracing me, Ruslana said, adding that they threaten her by physical violence and tortures. The treats began after I called Europe for targeting sanctions, Ruslana said, emphasizing that she will continue her struggle on Maidan.

Head of Parliament: constitutional changes require referendum. According to the Head of Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Rybak, constitutional changes should be made in line with Ukrainian legislative framework. As he explained, some of issues related to the return to 2004 Constitution require discussion at the level of referendum.

PoR MP Tihipko calls for a new government. One of the Party of Regions’ MPs Serhiy Tihipko believes that the new government should be formed without any delays as Ukrainian economy is on the brink of catastrophe. “New effective and professional government is needed already today as it could be too late tomorrow,” he said, stressing also a strong need in “decisive anti-crisis measures.”

EU voices support to Ukraine, but warns against possible consequences of human rights violation. The European Union is ready to assist Ukraine in overcoming the crisis, including providing the country with financial support to implement necessary reforms, the EU HR/VP Catherine Ashton said. Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt, in his turn, does not rule out consequences for Ukraine by the EU in response to continued repressions and violation of human rights.

CDU threatens Ukrainian authorities by sanctions. Presidium of CDU, German political party headed by Chancellor Merkel, adopted a statement threatening Ukrainian officials by personalized sanctions, Liga reported. “Should the Ukrainian leadership continue to deny elementary civil rights, we will take a stand for a decision, by the international community of states, to impose personalized sanctions against the suppressors,” the statement wrote. CDU Presidium also agreed with joint EU-US financial aid to Ukraine given the country’s readiness to conduct necessary reforms ensuring human rights and boosting economy.

Saakashvili: Russian neo-imperial ambitions would collapse on Maidan. During his meeting with Patriarch Filaret, head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, Mikheil Saakashvili, former Georgia’s President, underlined the importance of EuroMaidan protest movement for the whole post-Soviet region, TVi reported. Ukrainian example is very important for Georgia, Saakashvili said, adding that EuroMaidan impacts the future development of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova and Russia. “Ukrainian revolution can accelerate the death of Russian imperial ambitions,” Saakashvili added.

British expert assessed scenarios of Ukrainian crisis settlement. James Sherr, a British political expert, wrote an article in Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, a moderate weekly newspaper, assessing possible scenarios of Ukrainian crisis settlement. The expert underlined that after conflict escalated on 19 January, the West including the EU and the US actively engaged itself in the Ukrainian crisis. This, however, does not exclude Russian readiness to opt for military intervention. Further settlement of the crisis depends on Russian ability to correctly assess its risks, on Western readiness to contain Russia and on Ukrainians’ ability to maintain their struggle, Sherr concluded.

German expert: EU should prevent ‘Georgian scenario’ in Ukraine. In his article published by Dzerkalo Tyzhnia, a moderate weekly, Andreas Umland, a German political expert who lives in Kyiv, advises the EU to prevent possible implementation of ‘Georgian scenario’ in Ukraine leading to de facto annexation of certain regions of the country. The expert underlined that Ukrainian crisis should not be compared with the Syrian one, adding that the country’s political regime also significantly differs from those existing in Belarus and Russia. The ongoing conflict, however, may still be used by Moscow to de facto annex Ukraine’s regions foremost Crimea and eastern regions. The EU’s weak reaction to the Georgian war in 2008 encouraged Moscow to cut Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Umland wrote, urging Europe for early use of its economic leverage against Russia aimed at discouraging Kremlin from repeating ‘Georgian scenario’ in Ukraine.

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