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Extortion by economic means won’t help defuse conflict in Ukraine

GUE/NGL MEPs on the European Parliament's International Trade Committee have strongly criticised the result of a committee vote today that saw a vast majority of MEPs vote in favour of granting autonomous trade preferences to Ukraine.

GUE/NGL MEP Helmut Scholz said: “Today's decision is counterproductive. With this measure the conflict in Ukraine will not be defused, rather it threatens to deepen the division of the country.

“The EU wants to impose its own political interests in the region and disregard any engagement with Russia. These trade preferences are clearly a precursor to an association agreement between the EU and the Ukraine. But the democratic legitimacy of the Ukrainian government is more than questionable, not to mention that it includes some representatives of neo-fascist and chauvinist parties.

“The citizens of Ukraine must have the chance to decide on the future of their country. Democratic elections in Ukraine are a precondition to continuous legitimate governance, and this must be the basis of cooperation with the EU. Instead of binding the Ukraine with economic tricks the EU must push for rapid and properly conducted elections.”

GUE/NGL MEP Paul Murphy said: “The Council, Commission and the majority of the European Parliament are clearly blind in their right eye by brushing aside all human rights considerations and by uncritically endorsing and supporting a reactionary, pro-oligarch government with clear fascistic elements.

“The EU is not the heroine and Russia the villain in this grim scenario that is unfolding in front of our eyes. Both players are defending their own geo-strategic and imperialist interests in the region. None of them are genuinely interested in defending the working class and poor people, no matter what language they speak and what ethnic background they are from.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group