It is important that the international community shows its clear support and stands up for all those who are taking a stand for freedom, openness and EU integration, says Christian Holm, Swedish MP and board member of the Jar Hjalmarson Foundation, commenting on the developments in Ukraine after the Vilnius summit. It is important to send clear signals to the President of Ukraine and the Government that we will not accept restrictions on freedom, human rights violations and a rolling back of democracy.
Developments in Ukraine is extremely alarming and a threat to democracy , freedom and justice . When Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych said no to the Association Agreement with the European Union, he also denied his country and his people the opportunity to greater integration with Europe. Instead President Yanukovych chose to strengthen ties with an increasingly stagnant Russia.
In the meantime, it is important to point out that the EU is not closing the door on Ukraine. The country’s prosperity and stability is still seen as an important part of the EU’s continued success and to strengthen security in the region. The Eastern Partnership, developed at the initiative of Sweden and Poland, should continue to be open to Ukraine. In fact, an association agreement with the EU does not exclude a Russian – Kazakh customs union, if Ukraine want to. Rather, it is common that countries have it that way. It is therefore important that we from Sweden and the EU respond to Russian propaganda with facts.
Russia would benefit from increased cooperation with the EU and in this case, Ukraine would serve as a useful entry point between the two markets. We must continue to show our support for Ukraine’s population, we stand up for freedom and will not tolerate oppression.
Board member, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation
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