European Parliament supports Ukrainian leadership in its actions to protect country - resolution
The European Parliament has supported the Ukrainian leadership in realizing their right to the restoration of power and self-defense, warning Russia against invasion under the pretext of escalating the situation created by armed pro-Russian separatists.
This is stated in a European Parliament resolution adopted during a plenary meeting in Strasbourg on Thursday.
"[The EP] expresses its full support for and solidarity with the government of Ukraine as it seeks to re-establish authority in the occupied cities, welcomes the restrained and measured manner in which the Ukrainian government has dealt with the current phase of the crisis so far, and recalls that the Ukrainian authorities have the full right to use all necessary measures, including the right to self-defense as defined in Article 51 of the UN Charter," reads the resolution.
In this regard, the European Parliament warned Russia against "using Ukraine's legitimate right to defend its territorial integrity as a pretext to launch a full-scale military invasion."
In addition, the EP "condemns in the strongest possible terms the escalating destabilization and provocations in eastern and southern Ukraine; rejects any preparation for illegal 'Crimea-like' referendums."
"[The EP] warns that the increasing destabilization and sabotage caused by pro-Russian armed, trained and well-coordinated separatists led by Russian special forces could be used as a false pretext for Russia to intervene militarily, prevent the presidential elections and force federalization as a precursor to the partition of Ukraine," reads the resolution.
In addition, the EP also welcomed the recent resolution of the Ukrainian parliament calling for the immediate disarmament of all illegal self-defense forces, and looks forward to its implementation.
Referring to the international aspect, the EP welcomed the European Council's readiness to assist Ukraine in the field of civilian security-sector reform and provide support for the police and the rule of law, and to examine all options, including a possible CSDP mission, as well as the possibility of an EU monitoring mission.
The EP also welcomed the signing of the political chapters of the Association Agreement and the subsequent adoption of the unilateral trade measures; calls for the signing of the full AA/DCFTA as soon as possible and before the expiry of the unilateral trade measures.
"[The EP] calls on the Council to authorize the Commission immediately to speed up visa liberalization with Ukraine, so as to advance along the path of introducing a visa-free regime, following the example of Moldova; calls, in the meantime, for the immediate introduction of temporary, very simple, low-cost visa procedures at EU and Member State level," the EP said.
At the same time, the EP welcomed the announcement by the Ukrainian government of an ambitious economic and social reform agenda and highlighted the vital importance of its swift implementation in order to stabilize and overcome the country’s critical financial situation.
"[The EP] welcomes the decision of the international financial institutions and the EU to provide Ukraine with substantial short ‑ and long-term financial aid; recalls the need to organize and coordinate an international donor conference, which should be convened by the Commission and take place as soon as possible," reads the document.
However, the EP supported the conditionality laid down by the EU regarding much-needed structural reforms that will help create more favorable conditions for sustainable economic growth, improve the management of public finances, develop the social safety net and tackle corruption; calls for transparency in the spending of EU funds and effective monitoring by the Commission.
The EP also encouraged Ukraine to continue to move ahead with its course of political reform, in particular constitutional reform, which should be the subject of a broad, in-depth discussion among all components of Ukrainian society.
"[The EP] welcomes the will of the Ukrainian Government to implement its commitments to ensure the representative nature of governmental structures, reflecting regional diversity, to ensure the full protection of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, to align the country’s anti-discrimination legislation with EU standards, to investigate all human rights violations and acts of violence and to fight extremism," reads the resolution.
The EP also welcomed the European Commission's decision to create a Support Group for Ukraine to work on the implementation of the "European Agenda for Reform."
In addition, the EP supported the efforts of the Ukrainian government, working in close cooperation with the OSCE and the Council of Europe, to ensure due respect for the legitimate rights of the Russian-speaking population and other cultural, national and linguistic minority groups, in line with the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
However, the EP reiterated its call for the setting-up of an independent commission to investigate the Kyiv shootings and the tragic events on Maidan, "with the inclusion of a strong international component and under the supervision of the Council of Europe International Advisory Panel."