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Ukrainian Communists keep pressing for Customs Union referendum

November 18, 2013, 17:31 UTC+3 KIEV
Meanwhile, President Viktor Yanukovich earlier said a decision to join either the European Union or the Customs Union would be necessarily followed by a referendum
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Leader of the Ukrainian Communist Party Pyotr Simonenko (L) and Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych

Leader of the Ukrainian Communist Party Pyotr Simonenko (L) and Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych

© ITAR-TASS/Nikolai Lazarenko

KIEV, November 18, /ITAR-TASS/. The Communist Party of Ukraine has gathered three million signatures in support of a referendum on joining the Customs Union (of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan), the party’s leader Pyotr Simonenko said Monday.

It is the people and not “some wheeler-dealers,” who are in the position to decide Ukraine’s future, Simonenko said.

Earlier, in October, the Communists submitted the documents to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine.

The Communist Party and the movement Ukrainian Choice have repeatedly met to discuss a referendum on accession to the Customs Union. Kiev’s administrative court twice banned such meetings.

Ukraine’s Minister of Justice Yelena Lukash argues such gatherings are illegitimate.

“At a time when a court of law and the Central Election Commission have officially banned such meetings I can see them as meetings of individuals who want to express their opinion,” she said, adding that as long as court rulings banning such meetings were effective, they would have no legal consequences.

Meanwhile, President Viktor Yanukovich earlier said a decision to join either the European Union or the Customs Union would be necessarily followed by a referendum.

“We won’t be able to do without a referendum in either case,” he said.

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