Heidin ja Tsekin vihreiden puheenjohtaja Ondrej Lishka vierailivat yhdessä Ukrainassa huhtikuussa. He vaativat EU:ta toimimaan voimakkaammin. “Ukrainaa ei saa jättää Venäjän ja USA:n väliseksi taistelukentäksi. ETYJin ja YK:n tukeminen on keskeistä, ja riippumattoman kansainvälisen komission tulee tutkia ihmisoikeusloukkaukset”, he korostavat kirjeessään EU:lle.
Green recommendation for the EU on the current state of Ukrainian crisis
by Heidi Hautala (Finland) & Ondrej Lishka (Czech Republic)
Now it is time for the EU to play a much stronger role in the Ukrainian crisis. EU must take its responsibility regarding the escalation of violence on our continent. Leaving Ukraine to become a clashing issue only between the US and the Russian Federation, EU is losing its relevance and ability to contribute to a peaceful solution of the crisis. The EU as a whole still lacks one voice and one strategy. The EU should actively provide information and work for outreach to civil society in the East of Ukraine.
The EU needs a common European policy on Russia. The use of a mix of diplomacy and targeted sanctions, including economic, must be continued. The EU cannot allow a country on this continent to jeopardise the peace order with a rationale based on ethnicity. If Russia does not cooperate on de-escalation and refuses to negotiate or implement a peace agreemement/political solution in the context of the OSCE or the Geneva Talks, further and broader sanctions should be introduced by the EU – the third phase of sanctions as planned by the European Council – and also those aimed at the members of the Federation Council (which voted unanimously for army deployment), their family members and assets.
To avoid a further escalation and violent confrontation, the EU should also consider offering high level talks to Russian President Putin, as well in order to gain space for a diplomatic solution and to convince Russia that the future of Europe lies only with a sovereign, democratic and stable Ukraine. It is especially important to secure the atmosphere ahead of the presidential elections of 25 May that make way for the parliamentary election as soon as possible.
In the rapidly changing situation, having visited Ukraine recently we make the following proposals:
1. The EU must immediately strengthen the OSCE as a central and politically neutral forum for negotiations in view of finding a political solution. The EU should push for broadening of the scope of the current OCSE Special Monitoring Mission (observation plus mediation/peacebuilding/confidence building) and significantly increasing its staff.
2. The EU should equip the OSCE with a large number of observers for the 25th May presidential elections. A good step in this regard is the recent crisis response measure (5-10 million EUR) for election observation and confidence building measures under the EU’s Instrument for Stability and Peace (IcSP). But there is also a need for further urgent action in the field of mediation e.g. the organisation of round tables, dialogue fora etc. The EU could support the OSCE mission with armoured vehicles and other equipment necessary for a safe operations of the SMM.
3. EU should continue its efforts to support the release of dozens of captives who are still held in detention and who might have been subject to ill treatment and torture.
4. Once a political agreement has been found and violent conflict has ended the EU could consider, in the context of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), a second civilian CSDP mission focusing on the reform of the security sector and rule of law/justice.
5. EU should mobilize the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) in support of civil society and civic initiatives, and particularly strengthening the capacity of local human rights and women’s groups. The EU member states should boost up the financial support of this instrument. Many of the Member States still don’t participate in EED. Independent and civic media projects should be supported, especially focused on providing reliable information bridging East and the rest of Ukraine. It is important to support Donbass civil society initiatives aiming at emergency response e.g. by establishing an urgent action fund to provide legal aid and access to justice to victims of human rights violations, including abductions and unlawful detentions, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances committed by both sides in the violent incidents.
6. Concerning the central role of alleged human rights violations in the crisis, Ukraine should agree with an independent international inquiry commission. The EU should promote taking the Ukrainian situation to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, to discuss there the steps to establish such an inquiry. This could be implemented by the Human Rights Council through the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The EU must contribute to the strengthening of the financial and human resources of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (UN HRMMU), especially its teams in the East. Cooperation with the Council of Europe is vital.
7. The EU should approach the Ukrainian government with a proposal of EU support to the public governance reform and strengthening public institutions (through mentoring, national experts, assisted projects, etc.) This package would include assistance to public reform, safeguarding rights of (language, ethnic) minorities, decentralization and public participation. The expertise of OESCE HCNM, Council of Europe and OECD should be used, as well as the expertise of the UN treaty bodies and special procedures and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.
8. EU Member States should use all possibilities to expand their student exchange programmes to cover all parts of Ukraine including universities in the East, and to issue multi-annual visas for students from Ukraine, as well as to extend visa support and issue multi-annual visas to members of civil society and human rights defenders, particularly from the South and East of Ukraine, which could also serve as temporary protection for endangered human rights defenders, if and when needed.
9. As long as there is violent conflict and political tensions in Ukraine the EU should stop all arms and dual-use goods exports to Russia and Ukraine. We need a clear, string and immediate EU arms embargo.
10. Phasing out of gas and oil imports from Russia should be discussed, and a support mechanism developed to help the EU Member States highly dependent on Russian energy exports. The European Commission should include Ukraine into the EU Energy Independence plan which it is to present in June.