Kyiv, February 23, 2015 – Ukraine definitely reinforced its diplomatic position in the aftermath of the winter session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Members of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation Artur Herasymov, Hanna Hopko and Serhiy Vysotskyy highlighted this at the press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. Ukraine was the focal point of discussions during the session; this topic prevailed in every talk among the delegates even in the lobby and at lunches. «During these three days we felt that the real unity of the European countries holds firm and grows stronger despite Russia’s attempts to crush it», told Artur Herasymov, MP from Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc. According to the Mr. Herasymov, Russia tried to register the Crimean representative as an official delegate of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. This was a blatant violation of the OSCE’s fundamental rules; the Parliamentary Assembly unanimously supported Ukraine and rejected Russia’s proposal.
Artur Herasymov told that the session included several meetings of Ukrainian MPs with the representatives of the European People’s Party the outcome of which was the approved resolution in support of Ukraine. The resolution explicitly stated that the Russian Federation must withdraw its troops from the territory of Ukraine and immediately release Nadiya Savchenko. Moreover, an overwhelming number of delegates expressed their support support for Ukraine during the special debates on the country. “That means all speeches except for the Russian representatives”, Artur Herasymov told.
Hanna Hopko, MP from Samopomich Party, stated that OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session focused on the humanitarian aspects of the Ukrainian crisis. For instance, OSCE had virtually no access to the Crimean peninsula to monitor the issues of discrimination against Ukrainians and Crimean Tartars since March 2014. Delegates also considered increasing the numbers of staff for the OSCE SMM to strengthen its operations in the temporarily occupied Crimea and in the East of Ukraine was considered as well. There is a widespread consensus on the need to put more pressure on Russia to ensure that the monitoring mission could work on the Ukrainian-Russian border. She said that the repressions against freedom of speech constituted a separate aspect of the humanitarian situation in Ukraine, particularly on the territories controlled by pro-Russia militants, so did the issue of casualties among women and children in the conflict. «450 women and 67 children fell victim to the Russian aggression as a result of artillery shellings. More than 170 children were injured. OSCE promised to give the issue of women’s and children’s safety a priority status», Ms. Hopko added.
Serhiy Vysotskyy, MP from the People’s Front party, said that none of the European MPs had any doubts about the Russian aggression. It was confirmed further by their unambiguous response to the booklets and materials about the Russian invasion spread by members of the Ukrainian Diaspora. The Russian propaganda failed to persuade the European elite that this is a domestic conflict rather than the Russian invasion despite having spent billions on propaganda. «Europe understands that Russia violates ceasefire. There is a wide variety of people who argue for stronger sanctions and providing lethal weapons to Ukraine», Serhiy Vysotskyy said.