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Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a report on developments in Ukraine, which is one of the central topics at its session in Strasbourg this week.

One of the rapporteurs was Mailis Reps, a member of the Estonian delegation to PACE, who insisted on the need to offer support for Ukraine in carrying out reforms and presidential elections. “The participation of the Council of Europe, OSCE and other observers at the 25 May presidential elections is very necessary. This would provide the certainty that the elections are indeed organised as free and equal. Trust in the new president is one of the major challenges for Ukraine today,” Reps said. She added that the presidential elections must also be organised as soon as possible, but a new election act should be passed before that.

“Amending the Ukrainian Constitution will be the most important reform: it would improve the balance between the presidential and the legislative power,” Reps explained.

The report emphasises the importance of ensuring an objective analysis of the violations of human rights that have been committed in Ukraine. “All the fatalities and human rights violations that took place during the Euromaidan protest actions should be investigated and the culprits punished. I am pleased that a wide-based committee with international experts has been formed for the investigation,” Reps said.

The report highlights the need to constantly monitor the situation of minorities in Ukraine. “Although international experts did not detect any real signs of danger to minorities in Ukraine at the end of March, it remains one of the crucial arguments in the foreign propaganda war to this day. The report answers and refutes all the arguments used for propaganda,” Reps said.

The report emphasises the unacceptability of violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity and of annexing Crimea. PACE agreed and decided at its Thursday sitting to suspend the voting rights of the Russian delegation, as well as its right to participate in election observation missions, and its right to be represented in the Assembly’s leading bodies until the end of the 2014 session. Russia was obligated to return Crimea to Ukraine and to end all aggravation of the situation in Ukraine.

154 deputies voted in favour of the report and 26 against. The report on developments in Ukraine was compiled by Mailis Reps, the Head of the Estonian delegation to PACE, and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin from Sweden.

PACE report on recent developments in Ukraine

Photos of Estonian PACE delegation

The Riigikogu Press Service