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EU activity in Ukraine undermines belief in democratic principles, experts say

March 31, 2014, 18:09 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara

MOSCOW, March 31. /ITAR-TASS/. At last Russia and the European Union have come to a consensus in their appraisal of at least one player in Ukraine’s political theater. During the weekend, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton denounced actions of extremists from the Right Sector movement and urged them to surrender weapons, calling them ‘undemocratic’.

Catherine Ashton did that after a demonstration of force by Right Sector’s radical activists in front of the parliament building in the capital, Kiev. More than 2,000 tough guys smashed windows in the parliament building and intended to seize it, seeking the resignation of acting Interior Minister of Ukraine Arsen Avakov. They were outraged by an operation of special police forces to seize one of the Right Sector leaders, Alexander Muzychko, in which he was killed.

Muzychko became a baddie of many TV footages, distinguishing himself by demands to unwanted officials to resign, made at gunpoint. However, his funeral, which took place in the city of Rivno in western Ukraine, was attended by thousands of associates, and he was buried like a hero.

So, the foreign policy chief has checked pretty sharply Right Sector’s radical activists for an attempt to storm the parliament and for intimidating deputies.

It took the West slightly more than a month to radically revise its position on correlation of the “democracy” and “The Right Sector” notions. It were the activists from the Right Sector and their leader Dmytro Yarosh, who on February 21 urged participants in mass riots in Kiev not to recognize the agreement on overcoming the crisis, signed by President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition activists in the presence of three foreign ministers from EU countries. Those were gunmen from the Right Sector, who led the seizure of government buildings in Kiev, making the legitimate authorities retreat. At that point, the EU as well as the US, came easy on raids on administrative buildings by radical activists across Ukraine, as thus the Right Sector was ensuring the coming to power of opposition leaders that the West sympathized with.

Russia qualified gunmen’s activities as a coup, while the opposition coalition coming to power - as illegitimate. Russia put Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh on the wanted list for public appeals to terrorism and extremism. Now, this person runs for Ukrainian president.

“When the so-called supporters of European integration were at one with radicals from the Right Sector, who pelted special police force Berkut with Molotov cocktails, EU representatives portrayed the situation so as if peaceful residents were democratically protesting against Yanukovych and Ukraine’s rapprochement with Russia and the Customs Union (of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan). At that moment, EU countries were turning a blind eye to illegal actions of the Right Sector, although Russia had repeatedly urged Western partners to be objective in assessments,” the director of the Institute of Globalization Problems, Mikhail Delyagin, told ITAR-TASS.

“Now the very same organization lays claims to the authorities of those, whom the West supported and in fact raised to power. In these conditions, the EU denounces the Right Sector but does not demand to have its activity outlawed. Half-way measures can have serious consequences, which are already manifested in attacks by extremists at those who oppose Kiev’s dictate in south-eastern parts of Ukraine,” the expert warned.

“EU countries have used radical activists in Ukraine as striking force to place people they needed in power. Now these ‘maneuvers’ have done their part, and they must be cut off political influence,” the director of the Institute for Political Studies, Sergei Markov, told ITAR-TASS.

“When the Right Sector was acting outside the law, the West was not condemning participants in this movement, although the Estonian foreign minister informed Catherine Ashton several weeks ago that representatives of the opposition coalition could have had a hand in sniper shooting in Kiev, in which about 100 people were killed. But no loud statements came from the European Union after that,” the political analyst said.

“Now, when radical activists were just picketing the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), having visibly reduced their activity, Catherine Ashton has all of a sudden recognized them as dangerous, besides referring to the violation of democratic principles,” Sergei Markov from the Public Chamber said.

“I wish our Western partners were not bringing into discredit the idea of democracy! It was them who achieved the ousting of legal authorities in Ukraine under the leadership of the United States, introduced the posts not existing in the Constitution, in particular, the office of acting president. As a result of such actions, the very notions of ‘democracy’, ‘elections’ and ‘the rule of the people,’ are emasculated and cause an increasing disillusionment of the people,” he added.


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