Sanctions only deepen divisions over Ukraine
GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer has commented on the signing of the policy part of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement at today's EU summit in Brussels.
She said: "While the US has tightened sanctions against Russia, for the moment the EU only imposes sanctions bit by bit. Instead, the EU lures the Ukraine with financial incentives and legally-questionable customs facilities. This only leads to the deepening of divisions in the conflict over Ukraine."
Gabi Zimmer continued: "It is far from clear what conditions come with the promised 1.6 billion euros of microfinance aid. On the Left we demand that these grants not be linked to neoliberal economic structural reforms. These types of reforms are always to the detriment of the people and lead to greater social inequality."
Zimmer also called for democratic elections to take place immediately and for an end to repression and violence:
"Democratic elections must take place as soon as possible, in the presence of international election observers from the OSCE. We demand that the Ukrainian government acts to stop violent assaults and guarantees protection for all groups in society."
Members of the Communist Party, for example, are currently living de facto underground as their headquarters remains occupied by paramilitary groups, and the Rabbi of Kiev recently called on the Jewish part of the population to leave the city.
Zimmer added: "All parts of the population must decide about the future of Ukraine as part of a democratic process. If all groups are involved in this process, division and discrimination between different parts of the population could be avoided in the future."
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group