The ALDE Party President has told the European Parliament it is time to speak openly about the international role of the Russian Federation – the “elephant in the room” in Ukraine.
Speaking during a plenary session in Strasbourg, Sir Graham Watson called on the EU to send a fully-fledged mission to Kiev to map out a path for Ukraine in Europe.
Hundreds of demonstrators have defied a government decree and camped out in Kiev’s Maidan – or Independence – Square, since the authorities announced at the end of last month that they would not be signing a deal for closer ties with Brussels. The police used heavy-handed techniques to quell dissent and disperse those gathered.
Referring to the Orange Revolution of 2004-5, Sir Graham said; “What we see today is reminiscent of what we saw ten years ago. We have to make it clear to the Ukrainian government that we deplore the violence. The EU head of diplomacy, Baroness Catherine Ashton, must engage with the authorities and with the opposition.”
At its recent congress in London, the ALDE Party adopted a resolution tabled by its member the European Party of Ukraine, supporting the peaceful opposition in their demands for closer ties with Europe and condemning the violence. The country should no longer be held hostage by third parties and those with personal vested interests.
"We must speak more openly about the elephant in the room, the Russian Federation. We must send a fully-fledged mission to Kiev to secure a way forward for Ukraine in Europe." Sir Graham concluded.