Second draft resolution on Ukraine introduced in U.S. Congress

15:52, 18 July 2012
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U.S. Representative Christ Smith (R-NJ) has submitted to Congress a resolution urging the Ukrainian government to release former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and other representatives of the previous government sentenced on politically motivated grounds, according to Official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko.

In the resolution

, he calls on the House of Representatives to demand that "President Yanukovych and the Government of Ukraine cease selective prosecutions, free Mrs. Tymoshenko and the other senior officials of the previous government currently in detention, and restore their full political and civil rights."

Chris Smith believes Ukraine stands at a critical juncture in its development to a more fully democratic country, and the parliamentary elections on October 28, 2012, will play a highly significant role in demonstrating the seriousness of the Ukrainian authorities` commitment to democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

"Since Viktor Yanukovych became President of Ukraine in February 2010, Ukraine has seen serious setbacks to its democratic development, including the concentration of power in the hands of the president and his Party of Regions," the draft resolution states.

The Congressman notes the politically motivated prosecution and imprisonment of former Prime Minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, former Interior Minister and opposition leader Yuriy Lutsenko, and former acting Defense Minister Valery Ivashchenko and the fact that they have been denied access to proper medical care.

Representative Smith also draws attention to the fact that since Yulia Tymoshenko`s imprisonment, the Prosecutor General has reopened additional highly questionable, politically motivated cases against her, some of which were previously closed and reported to be sealed under a 10-year statute of limitations.

In his opinion, the continued imprisonment and prohibition from participation in the October parliamentary elections of Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko makes it impossible for the international community to assess these elections as having fully met international democratic standards.

Christopher Smith also calls for "denying United States visas to Ukrainian officials involved in serious human rights abuses, anti-democratic actions, or corruption that undermines or injures democratic institutions in Ukraine, including officials responsible for and participating in the selective prosecution and persecution of political opponents."

In May 2012, Senator James Inhofe(R-OK) authored a resolution calling on the U.S. Department of State to institute a visa ban against President Yanukovych, Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka, and other officials responsible for former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko`s imprisonment.

He also urged the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe not to recognize Ukraine`s scheduled 2013 chairmanship of the Organization until the release of Yulia Tymoshenko.

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