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Ukrainian opposition calls on US to impose sanctions against Ukrainian interior minister

January 12, 2014, 18:59 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, January 12, /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian opposition has called on the United States to impose personal sanctions against Ukraine’s Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko, who they claim was responsible for the use of force against peaceful protesters.

The leader of the opposition party Batkivshchina faction in the national parliament, Arseny Yatsenyuk, told participants in another “popular veche” (assembly) in Kive’s central Independence Square that the opposition would initiate the formation of a parliamentary commission to probe into the instances of the use of force against protesters.

He also said that the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations would consider Ukrainian development at its session in Washington on January 15. “The United States is ready to offer all-round support to the Ukrainian people in its struggle for its rights,” Yatsenyuk said. Participants in the “veche” that drew about 10,000 people voted to delegate Ukraine’s former Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk to that session.

“We have a major appeal [to the West] - it is time to act,” Yatsenyuk said. “The one to top a Western sanction list is Ukrainian Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and his entire team.”

He also listed a number of other top priority tasks for the opposition. Thus, he said that opposition lawmakers would insist at the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on the revision of the state budget for 2014 to “cut expenditures of state officials by 20 billion hryvnias (2.5 billion U.S. dollars) and use this money to maintain schools, hospitals, education.”

At Yatsenyuk’s initiative, participants in the “veche” voted for applying to the European Court of Human Rights urging to promptly consider the case of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is serving a seven-year prison term on charges of office abuse while signing gas contracts with Russia, and to “pass a fair decision on her release.”

Another opposition leader, Vitaly Klitschko of the UDAR party, called on the participants to continue protest actions “to reach the ultimate goal - to have the current authorities, which have no perspective, go.” He claimed that trying to organize alternative rallies in support of the ruling Party of Regions the current authorities was “seeking to split the country into the East and the West.”

In the meantime, six tens have already been put in the Mariinski Park, where supporters of the Party of Regions staged their actions.

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