At the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, members of the Riigikogu Delegation to the PACE made speeches in support of Ukraine when the report on the political consequences of the conflict in Ukraine was discussed.
Head of the Estonian delegation to the PACE Marianne Mikko emphasised that Estonia as the current chairman of the Council of Europe supported value-based politics in regard to Ukraine. “As long as Crimes is annexed by Russia, there can be no return to business as usual in our relations with the Russian Federation. That idea is at the heart of the report discussed in Strasbourg, and I expressed support to it in my speech,” Mikko said.
In the opinion of member of the Estonian delegation Andres Herkel, the earlier documents of the Council of Europe have not said so clearly that the Crimean Tatars are harassed as an ethnic group. “Their traditional representative body the Mejlis is banned as an extremist organisation and many nationalist activists are in prison in Russia,” Herkel said. “It is hard to do anything good if the Russian side is unwilling. War crimes should be investigated by the International Criminal Court, and the activities of human rights organisations would also be of help,” Herkel added.
Member of the Estonian delegation Mailis Reps noted that it should not be forgotten that the Ukrainian conflict was directly affecting more than 6 million people. “How to support the local people who both as private persons and collectively have fallen victims of discrimination, arrests and inhuman treatment? Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes. Local people cannot get medical care or social assistance, they do not have access to justice system or everyday security. Human trafficking is taking place. This is the depressing picture drawn by the two PACE reports which ask all member states not to forget it, but to stand for these people,” Reps said. She has been a long-time PACE Rapporteur on Ukraine
On Wednesday, the PACE adopted two reports on Ukraine. One report discusses the legal remedies for human rights violations on the Ukrainian territories de facto controlled by Russia. The other report assesses the political situation and requests the implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
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