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Daily digest of main Ukrainian news (Euromaidan focus) February 13

Daily digest of main Ukrainian news (Euromaidan focus) February 13
Article by: Yuriy Lukanov
Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Edited by: A. N.

Kyiv, 12 – 13 February 2014

Yatseniuk warned by crisis escalation if a peaceful solution is not found in Parliament. Arseniy Yatseniuk, head of Batkivshchyna faction, warned on possible crisis escalation if a peaceful solution is not found in the Parliament. Speaking on his yesterday’s meeting with Yulia Tymoshenko, Yatseniuk noted that opposition would demand Parliament to restore 2004 Constitution. The opposition leader, moreover, emphasized that immediate constitutional reform together with forming of a new transitional government would pay the way to peaceful settlement of the crisis. The parliament’s failure to act would lead to the crisis escalation, Yatseniuk added.

Yanukovych proposed to set 9 March as the Day of national reconciliation. President Yanukovych proposed to set 9 March, Taras Shevchenko anniversary, as the Day of national reconciliation. He noted that Ukraine demanded peace, adding that the discord between regions should be overcome.

General Prosecutor’s Office called on protestors to remove barricades before 17 February.  General Prosecutor’s Office recalled protestors that the amnesty law expired on 17 February. According to the law, the detained activists would be pardoned only after protestors remove all barricades and release seized administrative buildings. The General Prosecutor’s office also underlined that there are 71 persons charged with organizing massive disorder with 4 people staying in custody and 59 people are kept under house arrest. Media also recalled that the amnesty law drafted and voted by government-loyal MPs only with opposition labeling it as the law on hostages.

Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case against EuroMaidan Self Defense.  Prosecutor’s Office in Kyiv opened criminal case against EuroMaidan Self Defense, head of Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office said, stressing that paramilitary organizations are banned by Ukrainian law.

Source: Russian big business withdraws money from Ukraine expecting default. Media quotes an unnamed source close to management of a Russian bank operating in Ukraine, saying that the bank was ordered to withdraw money from Ukraine in 10 days as the country faces default. The media also recalled that on 7 February international rating agency Fitch Ratings downgraded Ukraine’s long-term rating to the level of “CCC” which is one step far from default.

Car producer accused authorities of imposing pressure over business not controlled by them. “Bohdan”, a car producer, calls on authorities to stop endless inspections harming the business. The company accused authorities of imposing pressure on the business not controlled by or affiliated with authorities and their inner circle. The respective open address of the company was sent to President Yanukovych, General Prosecutor Pshonka, and acting Prime Minister Arbuzov, media added.

Communists believe Ukraine’s federalization would not lead to country’s disintegration. Commenting on the communists’ proposal to turn Ukraine into a federal state, Petro Symonenko, head of communist party, expressed his belief that the federalization would not lead to de facto split of the country. The politician also called for holding referendum on the country’s possible federalization.

“Svoboda” is ready to leave the building of Kyiv City Administration after all detained protestors are released. Andriy Illienko, an MP representing “Svoboda” party, said that his political force is ready to leave the building of Kyiv City Administration after authorities release all detained protestors. He also recalled that similar decision has been taken by the Council of “Maidan”, an organization united political and civil society leaders of the protest.

Head of Kyiv police accused of cracking down Maidan on 30 November may return to his office. Following the court’s ruling to pardon officials charged with ordering violent crackdown of Maidan on 30 November, Valeriy Koriak, head of Kyiv police, may return to his office, ministry of interior’s press service noted. This depends on the official himself who is at leave at the moment, the press service added.

Odesa EuroMaidan activists “stormed” local administration by toy tanks and aircraft.  Odesa EuroMaidan activists held a flesh mob deriding authorities’ statements on aggressive western Ukrainians coming to the city to seize the power. The activists “stormed” the city council by toy tanks and aircraft.   

Head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration proposed to grant combatant status to “Berkut”. Mykhailo Dobkin, head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration, proposed to grant combatant status to members of “Berkut”, Ukrainian riot police. I am proud of “Berkut” that returned trust into Ukrainian police, Dobkin said while giving UAH 150 thousand to relatives of Kharkiv “Berkut” officers.

Ukrainian football ultras declared truce amid Ukrainian protests. Ultra organizations of football clubs across Ukraine declared truce between themselves amid ongoing Ukrainian protests. Ultras stressed that the current situation demanded them to unite their efforts aimed at protecting themselves against repressive police that intimidate and torture Ukrainian citizens.

Füle pointed 4 areas to be tackled by Ukraine to solve the crisis. During his press conference in Kyiv, Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, advised Ukraine to tackle 4 areas in order to resolve the crisis. Authorities’ main aim is to renew citizens’ trust, the Commissioner said, adding that this cannot be achieved given continues arrests and intimidation of the protestors. Ukraine needs to advance in 4 issues, Füle said, encouraging Kyiv foremost to take immediate steps towards constitutional reform, forming a new inclusive government, and establishing conditions for free a fair elections. Secondly, Ukrainian government needs also to appoint without delays its representative to the CoE-initiated advisory commission aimed at investigating human rights violations during the protest. Ukraine should also eliminate the atmosphere of impunity by ensuring respect to citizens’ rights and freedoms and by investigating the acts of violence in a transparent way, the Commissioner continued, adding that journalists’ safety should be also among Ukrainian priorities.

Füle: EU financial support is conditioned to reforms. UNIAN quotes Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and ENP, saying that the EU is ready to provide Kyiv its financial support given the conduct of necessary reforms. Commenting on information, that the EU expects Ukraine to hold early presidential elections before allocating its financial support, the Commissioner noted that the current crisis talks relate to conditions of free and fair elections. Be them parliamentary of presidential, early or according to the schedule should be decided by Ukrainians. The EU-Ukraine association agreement may provide additional platform for the reforms’ implementation, Füle said, adding that the EU is ready to support a new Ukrainian inclusive government only if it is committed to reforms. The Commissioner also stressed that the EU seeks to be the largest donor of Ukraine. “We want to make this assistance possible in the form of grants and loans for the development and strengthening of Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Füle added.

Lavrov noticed anti-Semitic and racist slogans on EuroMaidan. Writing on EuroMaidan protest, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, noticed racist and anti-Semitic slogans. “It is impossible not to notice that anti-government forces in Ukraine increasingly use nationalist, extremist, anti-Russian, anti-Semitic and racist rhetoric,” the minister wrote accusing the West of turning the blind eyes to this. The minister, moreover, accused the West of interfering in Ukrainian protest emphasizing that Russian representatives did not distributed sandwiches on Maidan. Lavrov also criticized the approach of substituting legitimate authorities by so-called ‘street democracy’. “Riots and street violence in a capital of any European country would not have been tolerated,” the Russian minister underlined, adding that similar actions would have been considered as a threat to public and democratic order.

Former US ambassador to Ukraine advocates for US and EU personalized sanctions. In his interview to DW, a German international media outlet, Steven Pifer, former US ambassador to Ukraine advocated for US and EU personalized sanctions against Ukrainian officials as a tool pushing President Yanukovych to concessions. Speaking on possible targets of the sanctions, Pifer mentioned that fiscal threats to Rynat Achmetov, a business tycoon close to Yanukovych’s inner circle, could be an effective leverage.

Internews Ukraine 

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Edited by: A. N.
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