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Daily digest of main Ukrainian news (Euromaidan focus) February 14

Daily digest of main Ukrainian news (Euromaidan focus) February 14
Article by: Yuriy Lukanov
Translated by: Christine Chraibi
Edited by: A. N.

Kyiv, 13 – 14 February 2014

All detained activists were “released”; their criminal cases remain open. Today the last of 234 detained EuroMaidan activists were released, media reported with reference to the Headquarter of National Resistance. Respective criminal cases, however, remained open. The courts soften pre-trial restrictions downgrading them to full or partial house arrest while charged the activists with more serious crimes (organization and participation in mass disorder) which foresee up to 15 years in prison.

Council of “Maidan” declared its readiness to partly free Hrushevskyi street. Following the release of last detained protestors, Council of “Maidan”, an organization united political and civil society activists of the protest, declared its readiness to partly implement the amnesty law, namely to partly free Hrushevskyi street. The move aims at preventing from crisis escalation, the council stated, warning authorities with more massive actions if they renew repressions and intimidations.

General Prosecutor promised to close all criminal cases against activists if protestors implement amnesty law by 17 February. Viktor Pshonka, General Prosecutor, promised to close all criminal cases against EuroMaidan activists in one month if protestors implement the amnesty law by 17 February. The law drafted and voted by the government-loyal lawmakers demanded activists to leave all seized administrative buildings and to free streets by 17 February before the state pardoned the charged activists.

Opposition plans to register Constitutional act in the Parliament. RBK-Ukraina quotes Serhiy Sobolev, an opposition MP representing Batkivshchyna faction, saying that opposition plans to register Constitutional act in the Parliament. The document restores 2004 Constitution and obliges the lawmakers to bring the country’s legislation in line with the main law, Sobolev noted, adding that the Party of Regions and communists refuse from supporting the document. The government-loyal MPs continue to insist on setting up a working group on constitutional amendments, Sobolev said, adding that opposition is ready to participate in the WG after Parliament renews legitimate Constitution which was unlawfully revised by Constitutional Court in 2010.

Party of Region registered bill duplicating some provisions from previously recalled dictatorship laws. Volodymyr Pylypenko and Valeriy Pysarenko, MPs representing the Party of the Regions (PoR), tabled a bill on additional measures enhancing the judges’ security and independence which, according to lawyers, duplicated some provisions of previously recalled dictatorship laws. The document, among others, proposed to criminalize gathering of negative information about the judges and their relatives. Thus, the bill would enhance judges’ independence from society but not from the authorities, Valentyna Telychenko, former lawyer of Yulia Tymoshenko, said.

PoR MP Tihipko: coalition government is a deadlock. Serhiy Tihipko, an MP representing the Party of the Regions (PoR) urged to form a new government next week as Ukrainian economy falling into deep crisis. This government should not be a coalition one, as such a government would lead to a deadlock, the politician thinks, adding that the Cabinet of ministers should comprise effective specialists.

Ukrainian journalist: Russia proposed Europe to solve Ukrainian crisis behind Kyiv’s back. Vitaliy Portnikov, a critical Ukrainian journalist, commented yesterday’s article of Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, on EU-Russia relations, saying that Moscow proposed Brussels to solve Ukrainian crisis behind Kyiv’s back. Russian minister criticized EuroMaidan for extremist rhetoric, stressing that Ukrainians could not decide easily its foreign policy dilemma themselves. Lavrov continued by describing the potential of EU-Russia relations, stressing that they approach the ‘moment of truth’. Hence, Moscow de facto proposed Europe to deepen its relations at the cost of Ukrainian independence as its existence, according to Moscow, hinders the establishment of “common economic and humanitarian space stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific,” Portnikov underlined. The journalist concluded by quoting a famous Polish expression dating back to end of the Cold War – “nothing about us without us,” warning that Russia would extend its pressure over Baltic countries and Poland after swallowing Ukraine.

Merkel will meet Klitchko and Yatseniuk on 17 February. German government confirmed information about the meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of Ukrainian opposition. On 17 February Vitaliy Klitchko and Arseniy Yatseniuk will meet Angela Merkel in Berlin to discuss current stage of the crisis and possible way out of the conflict.

Bildt: Russia forces Ukraine to enter customs union. Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister, assumed that Russia forces Ukraine to enter Kremlin-designed customs union. He made the statements in respond to Sergey Glaziev, a foreign policy advisor to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who stated that the customs union is vital for Ukraine. According to Glaziev, Ukraine has no future outside the Russia-led integration projects.

Lavrov accused EU and US of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs. During his joint press conference with Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, accused the EU and the US of interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs. Moscow, unlike the West allow Ukraine to make its foreign policy decision by its own without sending numerous delegations aimed at pressing Kyiv to choose western integration projects, Lavrov emphasized.

Sikorsky reminded Lavrov about boycott of Ukrainian products. Following Lavrov’s statement accusing the West of interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs, Radosław Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister, reminded his Russian counterpart about Moscow’s boycott of Ukrainian products. Artificial trade restricting measures constitute much bigger interference in Ukraine’s domestic affairs than European efforts to maintain negotiations, the minister stressed, adding that Ukrainian economy needs foremost modernization. 

Russia tightened control over Ukrainian beef. Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance tightened control over beef imported from Ukraine. According to the service Ukrainian beef contains excessive number of harmful microorganisms.

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