EU, U.S. Must Reinforce Agreement in Ukraine through Sanctions | Freedom House

EU, U.S. Must Reinforce Agreement in Ukraine through Sanctions

Washington

Targeted American and European Union visa and asset sanctions are still needed to guarantee that the agreement signed February 21 by opposition leaders and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych genuinely protects Ukrainians' fundamental human rights, Freedom House said.
 
"While we cautiously welcome the agreement since it immediately curtails the power of President Viktor Yanukovych and opens the way to early presidential elections, we call on the United States and the EU to impose sanctions now to hold to account those who authorized the use of violence against demonstrators seeking a more open government," said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House.

"Now is not the time to ease pressure on Yanukovych or to keep sanctions in reserve; it is, in fact, long past time to deploy them," Kramer said.

"We are cautious about the outcome for Ukrainians because Yanukovych remains in office and elections remain eight months away, more than enough time for promises to be broken and things to go awry," Kramer said. "Yanukovych has broken numerous promises in the past and thus cannot be trusted."

"We urge the EU and the United States to do their utmost to convince the government, and to reassure the opposition, that peaceful change is in everyone's best interests," Kramer said. "Tragically, such moves come too late for those protesters who were killed and injured by authorities through use of force."

Freedom House also welcomes the Ukrainian parliament's vote February 21 to allow the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been imprisoned for more than two years.

Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom of the World 2014, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2013, and Free in Freedom on the Net 2013.

To learn more about Ukraine, visit:
Freedom Alert: Freedom House Condemns Deadly Violence in Ukraine
Special Report: One Step Forward, One Step Back: An Assessment of Freedom of Expression in Ukraine during its OSCE Chairmanship
Nations in Transit 2013: Ukraine
Freedom in the World 2014: Ukraine
Freedom of the Press 2013: Ukraine
Freedom on the Net 2013: Ukraine
Sounding the Alarm Round 2: Protecting Democracy in Ukraine
Blog: Freedom at Issue

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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