Wilfried Martens, President of the European People’s Party, requested permission from the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv to visit Yulia Tymoshenko in jail during his visit to Ukraine on September 13-16. The request was rejected by Judge Rodion Kireyev of the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv. According to the Court, Wilfried Martens did not provide sufficient cause for such a meeting.  Instead, the EPP president met with Yulia Tymoshenko’s daughter Eugenia Tymoshenko and later with President Viktor Yanukovych.

“It was a frank discussion and I explained to him [President Viktor Yanukovych] the EPP position on Ukraine” – Wilfried Martens commented on his Twitter account. (more…)

Senator John McCain and the President of the European People’s Party (EPP) Wilfried Martens, jointly called on Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office to release on bail Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the Batkivshchyna Party and former Prime Minister, following her dubious detention on August 5, 2011.

Read the pressrelease

The Nordic and Baltic countries today signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding posting of diplomats in each other’s missions abroad. The agreement will facilitate the Nordic and Baltic countries to maintain a diplomatic presence around the world through flexible and cost effective solutions.

Read ther pressrelease (in Swedish)

Secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has elected Minister for Development Assistance Gunilla Carlsson to be part of the United Nations’ new high-level panel on global sustainability.

– I am happy to be a part of this panel on such an important issue for all of humanity. It is also an acknowledgement of Sweden’s very goal-oriented work for a sustainable environment – for people in both developed and developing countries, says Minister for Development Assistance Gunilla Carlsson.

Today Monday August 8, 2011, during the hearing of Yulia Tymoshenko’s criminal case, the Court dismissed an appeal from the former prime minister to release her from jail. Last Friday Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s top opposition leader and former prime minister, was arrested during her own trial following the judge’s decreed she was guilty of “systematically” disrupting proceedings. Yulia Tymoshenko was led from the courtroom and transferred to a detention centre under heavy police escort.

According to the judge there is no reason to change the decision regarding arrest because, in the appeal from Yulia Tymoshenko’s defense, there is no objective explanation in accordance with the Ukrainian law.  (more…)

Andrej Pachobut, a well-known journalist of Poland’s largest newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and democratic activist in Belarus, has been passed a three year suspended sentence after being found guilty of defamation of President Lukashenka by the Court in Hrodna.

The state prosecutor asked the court to sentence Andrej Pachobut to three years in prison. Her was charged in accordance with two articles of the Criminal Code of the Belarusian Law: Article 368, part 1, “insulting of president”, and Article 367, part 1 “libel against president”, and faces two to four years in prison. He has been in custody for more than two months prior to the trial.

Yesterday in the evening about 9.000 people went to the central squares of their towns all over Belarus to a “silent protest” against the Belarusian government. During the protests in Minsk a Swedish diplomat was subject to violence and Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt has issued an official protest.

Not wanting to provoke the Police the many protesters gathered and walked in silence in the city centres, only clapping their hands when cars honked their horns in support of the peaceful protesters. The Police and Special forces tried to block the city centre in Minsk, limiting traffic and detaining people on their way to join the protest. (more…)

Rally in Moscow on Sunday!

June 23rd, 2011   Articles | Russia

On June 23, 2011 Mikhail Kasyanov, Vladimir Milov, Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Ryzhkov commented on the refusal of registration of the Russian political party PARNAS. The party will hold a conference on July 2, and discuss its political future. In addition they invited invite all Russians to take part in the rally “Against tyranny! Against corruption! For Free and Fair Elections!” to be held at 1pm on June 25, in Moscow at the Pushkinskaya Square.

STATEMENT

by the Co-Chairmen of the People’s Freedom Party

The refusal of state registration of the People’s Freedom Party is a logical extension of the desire of the ruling group to remain in power by any means. This decision is not a unique case of political oppression. The refusal to register opposition political parties contradicts the Russian Constitution and international commitments of our country, directly limits the active and passive suffrage of millions of Russian citizens who were deprived of the right to delegate their representatives to the government at both the federal and regional levels. (more…)

The Russian Ministry of Justice declined an application to register the People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS). The application was backed by four opposition politicians: Mikhail Kasyanov (Russian People’s Democratic Union), Boris Nemtsov (Solidarity), Vladimir Milov (Democratic Choice) and Vladimir Ryzjkov (Republican Party of Russia).

The original intention was to register the party and to run in the Duma election in November, 2011. The party would then have brought forward a joint candidate for Presidential election in the Spring of 2012.

The formal application was submitted a month ago. Mikhail Kasyanov says that he regrets “Putin has made the decision to block us from running in the election”. He is convinced that Putin fears PARNAS since it is a real threat to him and the power structure surrounding him. “The election will not be considered free as Russia continues to violate the constitution and its international commitment.”

The ministers of foreign affairs of the European Union met in Luxemburg discuss further sanctions against the regime of Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka.

The foreign ministers strongly condemned the politically motivated detentions, trials and sentencing of representatives of the democratic society, the independent media and the political opposition, including several presidential candidates. The Council of the European Union also imposed travel restrictions and assets freeze on several key persons. In addition, the Council decided to impose an embargo on Belarus on arms and materials aimed for internal repression. Finally, it decided to freeze assets of three companies linked to the regime. (more…)