With the recent report that Ukrainian members of Parliament are being deprived of their seats, the United States of America today called on the Ukrainian authorities to end politically motivated prosecutions of opposition leaders.
In a press statement, Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell says the United States is deeply concerned by recent steps taken in Ukraine to remove Members of Parliament from the Rada.
Ukraine strips MP Serhiy Vlasenko of his seat in parliament
According to Mr. Ventrell, the US notes with particular concern efforts to deprive Serhiy Vlasenko, a Member of Parliament and defense counsel for former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, of his seat in Parliament, his corresponding immunity from prosecution, and his right to travel outside Ukraine.
Reports say, Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine has deprived Vlasenko of his seat in parliament for a reason that he continued to engage in other than parliamentary undertakings.
Vlasenko reportedly claimed his legal license was annulled and he was no longer engaged in any extra-parliamentary activity.
Politically motivated prosecutions
Mr. Ventrell notes that depriving Serhiy Vlasenko of his seat in the Parliament appear to be politically motivated due to his connection with Mrs. Tymoshenko.
The US notes with concern the High Administrative Court’s extra-judicial decision last month to annul the mandates of independent Members of Parliament Pavlo Blaloha and Oleksandr Dombrovsky.
“These actions create an atmosphere that inhibits political competition and freedom of expression.” – Mr. Ventrell
He says the United States urges Ukrainian authorities to honor the will of Ukrainian voters as expressed in the October 2012 parliamentary elections.
“We call on the Ukrainian authorities to end politically motivated prosecutions of opposition leaders and to abide by their international commitments to the rule of law and democracy.” – Mr. Ventrell
US supports Ukrain’s democratic aspiration
With its commitment to strengthen and deepen its partnership with Ukraine, the United States of America has underlined its strong support to Ukrainian people’s goal to develop a more democratic and prosperous state.
The U.S. has sought to strengthen and deepen its partnership with Ukraine.
Ukraine is a country of massive untapped potential – with an educated population, a vibrant civil society, rich agricultural land, energy resources, and a large consumer market.
It remains deeply in America’s interest to see an independent, prosperous and irreversibly democratic Ukraine.
The United States has long put its money where its mouth is in terms of support for Ukraine.
The US government has been the largest bilateral contributor of assistance over the last twenty yearsof Ukraine.
To support Ukraine’s goal of Euro-Atlantic integration, US assistance programs promote the development of sustainable institutions that advance democracy and human rights.
The US government believes that enhanced engagement with the European Union offers Ukraine the best guarantee of prosperity and stability, as it has for so many of its neighbors.
The US also appreciates Ukraine’s important contributions to peacekeeping and security operations, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo as well.
Ukraine is now in the midst of another key event in the development of its democracy – the campaign leading up to parliamentary elections on October 28 2012.
The United States has provided approximately five million dollars in funding for activities to promote free and fair parliamentary elections.
In February 2011, governments of Ukraine and the United States discussed further cooperation in the nuclear energy sector and signed a memorandum of cooperation in the field of shale gas exploration in Ukraine.
United States of America and Ukraine vow to work together to prevent nuclear proliferation as both countries today signed the Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear security cooperation.
Statistics shows that Ukraine ranks very low on a list of countries that are ranked by how easy it is to do business in Ukraine. It was ranked 152nd out of 183 countries.