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Ukraine has only itself to blame for loss in the PACE

Author : Vitaliy Zhuravsky

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe returned all the rights to Russian delegation, which caused a wave of indignation in Ukraine. Why did such thing happen?
22:30, 8 July 2019

PACE
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Ukraine and Ukrainians need to get used to the fact that each country primarily cares about its own interests. And we also need to do likewise. It is normal when your profit is in the first place.

But besides, in order to give you a shoulder in a difficult moment, you need to take steps towards other people. For example, PACE respects when the particular country implements the resolutions that the organization adopts for it. This is important, and this is the position of Europe.

And now let's see if PACE is respected in Ukraine. No, because we ignore most of the resolutions. Earlier, the PACE Monitoring Committee approved a report on the progress of the monitoring procedure for January-December 2018, in which it called on Ukraine to fulfill its obligations to the Council of Europe. This report contains an assessment of our commitments. Europeans are worried about attacks on journalists and the media, the non-introduction of changes to the lustration law, the lack of progress in achieving a balance between the state language and the languages of national minorities, the total corruption.

And now more specific. The Monitoring Committee urged Ukraine to fulfill such obligations: to amend the law on education and bring the law on the cleansing of power into line with the requirements of the Venice Commission. The point is that Parliament adopted the sixth article of the law on education, which violates the rights of national minorities. Europe asked us to make changes to the law – we did not make. The Venice Commission also reminded Ukraine several times that not everything is smooth in the lustration law, that there is no collective responsibility, but individual responsibility. We were told that if a particular person committed a crime from 2010 to 2014, he should be punished through court. In our country, without passing a court decision, the parliament threw out of the offices many qualified government officials, representatives of the security forces. In the same report, the monitoring committee criticized Ukraine for total corruption, noting that this phenomenon undermines public confidence in the institutions of state power.

Related: Russia's return to PACE does not mean it has carte blanche, - PACE Head Pasquier


What had Ukraine really corrected? Nothing. Politicians created new anti-corruption bodies, but corruption remains a method of governing the state and a threat to the national security of Ukraine. And all these negative trends are blocking the democratic development of the country. The Ukrainian authorities were told that they should stop selectively approaching the fulfillment of their international obligations and begin to create conditions for the functioning of democratic institutions.

Let’s consider the PACE resolution on the violation of the electoral rights of internally displaced persons. And in Ukraine there are about 1.5 million of them. They have been deprived of the right to participate in elections to local governments and elect MPs by the majority system. What did PACE recommend? If an internally displaced person lives 3-6 months in a certain territory, you must give him the right to register in this territory and give him the right to participate in elections to local governments and parliament. Our government ignored this recommendation.

This is enough for the majority of delegates not to respect the Ukrainian delegation to the PACE. This organization respect those countries and delegations in which the word goes alongside the deed. If they promise, they fulfill. If we promise, we do not fulfill.

Therefore, apart from the behavior of our delegation in PACE, which causes outrage among many Ukrainians, there is nothing more to add. Our delegates are behaving insensitively, they confuse PACE with the Verkhovna Rada: we used to yell, and there we must behave with dignity. If someone does not agree with your arguments, you need to convince him, to prove your case, and not to make demarches.

But in the end, the Ukrainian delegation cannot be called qualified, there is not a single representative who knows the two PACE working languages - French and English. They have arranged the performances that serious people do not perceive. Our delegation announced the suspension of its membership in PACE. It is just a shame. We are losing an additional platform for the promotion and protection of our national interests. This is the easiest step to make, but sometimes you need to think before you say something.

I think that Ukrainians will fix it on July 21, when they will elect a new power, a new Verkhovna Rada convocation. And in the new parliament there will be worthy representatives who will truly protect the interests of Ukrainians and Ukraine.

Related: Verkhovna Rada not obliged to invite PACE observers to Ukraine’s elections, - MFA

Related: Poland supported declaration, which started return of Russia to PACE

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