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EU deeply concerned over events in Kyiv

17-01-2014 16:27

The European Union is deeply concerned at the adoption by the Verkhovna Rada of legislation restricting the Ukrainian citizens' rights and freedoms.

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, said this in a statement on Friday. "Several pieces of legislation restricting the Ukrainian citizens' fundamental rights have been hurriedly passed in an apparent disrespect of parliamentary procedures and democratic principles,” the statement reads. Ashton is particularly concerned by the changes to the judicial code which impose worrying restrictions on the rights of assembly and on the freedom of speech and media, and are contrary to Ukraine's international obligations. The EU High Representative also criticizes the changes “that seem to seriously curtail the activities of civil society organisations in Ukraine and simplify procedures for revocation of mandates of Members of Parliament are equally worrying.” According to Ashton, “these regrettable developments come at a time of political crisis and do not contribute to building confidence and finding a political solution which can only happen through an inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders.” “I call on the President of Ukraine to ensure that these decisions are revised and brought in line with Ukraine's international commitments," she stressed.