By Lesya Orobets, MP, member of the opposition “Batkivshchyna” (Motherhood) Party.
We ask you to impose immediately personal financial sanctions against Viktor Yanukovych, his family, the oligarchs who are supporting him and the corrupted members of the Ukrainian government. The European Union should not turn into the League of Nations. The empty requests for negotiations do not work with criminals.
Yanukovych has already put his signature under the agreement with Putin to put Ukraine into the Customs Union, either formally or informally. This is a well-known fact. The events of October-November 2013 have shown how much Yanukovych can be trusted. I will remind you only one detail – the last-minute request of his to pay 160 billions euro to Ukraine to sign the association agreement with the EU.
Yanukovych has already made his last choice. He is joining the club of eternal dictators and is pulling Ukraine with him, as his property. He is not interested in the public opinion at all. During the last two and half weeks of ever increasing protests he has not done anything except of arrogantly ignoring the situation. At the same time the independent media in Ukraine which now exist only on internet are constantly being under hacker attacks.
The government forces are injuring the citizens, arrest activists on absurd charges, like “stealing mobile phones”, the courts are sentencing 4 injured people who have been beaten up by the police and cannot be present in court to 2 months in prison without parole. These people are being refused layers, and according to the court each of these people was wearing the same black jacket and had the same amount of money (93 hryvnya, or 8 euro) in his pocket.
At this moment the Ukrainian government represents one single monologue which is issued from a single center. There is no respect for the law, no discussions, no responsibility. Everything is being governed by one office, the office of Yanukovych. Only during today, the 9th of November, one day before the “round table” with the high EU commissiner Mrs. Ashton additionally 10 activists have been arrested, making it over 30 people arrested in one week, and the office of Yulia Tymoshenko “Batkivshchyna” political party has been attacked, the office destroyed, computer servers stolen.
Which negotiations do you mean, with whom and about what?
The oligarchs who brought Yanukovych to power do not choose for a modern “Iron Curtain”. Their factories and plants export the goods into the EU, they get loans from the West and they themselves and their children live in Europe. They are the only people to whom Yanukovych may listen, and the only ones who can make him hear the voices of the millions of people in the streets. Only the fear for the arrest of their finances and properties may change something.
The polarization of the Ukrainian society around the association agreement with the EU is a blatant lie. During the last two and half weeks the protests “in support of Yanukovych” have not gathered even 1% of the million of people who took to the streets of Kyiv yesterday. The “meetings” in support of Yanukovych are being organized by the local district councils and are being financed by the state. They are being filled with the budget paid workers who are threatened with being fired if they do not attend. At least twice in Kyiv people were observed trying to escape such “meetings”, they were stopped by the police and sent back.
Another constituent of “Yanukovych’ support” are people who are paid 15-20 euro per day for the participation in the meetings in his support. This also includes some petty criminals who are paid more – up to 40 euro a day in order to start the provocations and to abuse the journalists and the citizens carrying the symbols of Ukraine and the European Union. They work together with the police who covers for them, and even when people catch them and turn them to police, the police lets them go.
The Ukrainians who are currently protesting at Maidan and other Ukrainian cities are paying for themselves and loose their money, while at the same time they are paying taxes that are higher than in Germany. They risk their lives and health standing outside in bitter cold, having sleepless nights in the frost. All money gathered for Maidan are gathered by Ukrainian citizens. The opposition parties are so much bled out after 3 years of repressions they can hardly contribute anything.
I am asking you, as honest people and politicians – do not become the members of Yanukovych’ crimes, do not play the comedy called “negotiations” or “round tables”. Without personal financial sanctions it remains 100% certain loss of your time, energy and tax payers money. You have already witnessed Yanukovych “signing” the association agreement in Vilnius. Why pretend that he will keep any of his promises? Both you and me know that he won’t do anything unless forced by the fear of financial losses or brute force.
Remember the annexation of Austria and Munchen Treaty in 1938. At this moment the same is happening, do not be deceived. The Ukrainian president, its government, police and courts have betrayed their people, forgot the oaths they have taken and swore an oath to Putin. This is bitterly obvious, forget the political correctness.
Ukrainians disagree with this. Ukrainian citizens are currently the only force resisting the annexation of Ukraine, and desiring the democratic society and the integration of Ukraine into the European economy. Neither Yanukovych nor Putin want this.
Do not allow the next Prague spring 1968 or Munchen Treaty 1938 to happen. Your children and grandchildren will not understand you. Stop the escalation now. The only chance are the personal financial sanctions, only they can force Yanukovych to negotiate, and only they can defend the peoples rights to remain free, defend the freedom of speech and peaceful protests.
The events that will occur if Yanukovych will use the force to subdue the protests will remind you Franco’s Spain or Pinochet’s Chili. And the responsibility for this will be on you, on those who despite preaching human rights and freedom had no courage to do the right things. Things that are very simple and obvious.
For people of Ukraine who were betrayed by their own government, who are imprisoned by courts in “Stalin” fashion, who are beaten up by the police who are being payed from our tax money. For the peace and security of your own countries, to prevent the rise of a new Iron Curtain and the destabilization of the situation on the continent. And in the name of Ukraine where the geographical center of Europe is located.
The only effective condition to make Yanukovych agree to the productive and honest negotiations is the personal financial sanctions against him, his family and the oligarchs who are supporting him. If the finances of at least one politician whose hands are covered in blood are arrested, the tide will be changed. We Ukrainians know very well how these people operate.
And otherwise just say honestly to both Ukrainians and your own citizens, as well as to yourself that peaceful demonstrations under the EU flag which gather over 1 million people despite the bitter frost and snow, police attacks and threats, do not mean anything and the only thing we can expect from Europe are empty words and farce called “negotiations” and “round tables”. If this is the case, tell it openly and honestly, and leave us fight ourselves for our freedom.
The values are things which people should be ready to defend till the bitter end. This is what Ukrainians are showing. Now it is your turn.