Ukranian FM: Situation in Crimea 'horrible'

European Council targets pro-Russian separatists with sanctions in response to Nov. 2 rebel elections in eastern Ukraine.

Ukranian FM: Situation in Crimea 'horrible'

World Bulletin/News Desk

The European Council called on Monday for fresh sanctions -- including asset freezes and travel bans -- targeting a new list of pro-Russian separatists.

''Having assessed the situation on the ground, the Council calls on the EEAS [European External Action Services] and the Commission to present a proposal for decision by the end of this month on additional listings targeting separatists,'' the Council said in a statement.

The move comes in response to the Nov. 2 elections by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, which the EU called ''illegal and illegitimate.''

EU Foreign Affairs chief Federica Mogherini also said in a statement on Monday: ''We will for sure discuss the sanctions, but not only the sanctions - because we all know very well that if we work only on that, but not on the other... tracks, even sanctions will not work."

Crimea situation

The Ukrainian parliament is also set to implement a package of anti-corruption laws in early spring, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, said at the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday.

The package includes creating anti-corruption bureaus and monitoring mechanisms. 

Reshuffling Ukraine’s court system is also one of the key priorities in reforming the country’s rule of law.

The European Council also decided on Monday to launch the EU Advisory Mission for Civilian Security Sector Reform Ukraine on 1 Dec. 2014 with an initial mandate of two years.

For the first 12 months, the mission will have a budget of €13.1 million and will assist the Ukrainian authorities in the field of civilian security sector reform, including policing and the rule of law, according to the European Council.

''Every week we have news on disappearances of Crimean Tatars and after some days the bodies are found in different regions of Crimea,'' Klimkin said. ''The situation is horrible.''

Human Rights Watch released a report on Monday saying that human rights are in decline in the Russian occupied region of Crimea, whose population is roughly 13 percent Crimean Tatars, a Muslim Turkic ethnic group.

''The authorities have failed to rein in abuses by paramilitary groups implicated in serious human rights abuses, including enforced disappearances of pro-Ukrainian activists and others perceived as critical of Russia,'' the report added.

Last Mod: 18 Kasım 2014, 13:04
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