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Kiev’s refusal to protect human rights weakens its positions in pan-European bodies — MP

May 21, 2015, 17:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia's head of the International Affairs Committee at the State Duma said he believed Ukraine undermined its positions both in the Council of Europe and the OSCE
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Alexey Pushkov, head of the International Affairs Committee at the Russian parliament's lower chamber

Alexey Pushkov, head of the International Affairs Committee at the Russian parliament's lower chamber

© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Kiev’s decision to renege on its international commitments by refusing to guarantee protection of human rights in the zone of military operations in the east indicates "a criminal character" of the state, the top foreign policy parliamentarian in Russia's State Duma assembly said on Thursday, adding that Ukraine therefore undermined its positions in Europe’s political bodies.

"When a country weasels out of its obligations, this is simply an indication of a criminal character of this state," Alexey Pushkov, head of the International Affairs Committee at the Russian parliament's lower chamber, said in an interview with Vesti FM radio station, noting that it was the first time he had ever seen anyone doing things like these.

Pushkov said he believed Ukraine undermined its positions both in the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, the pan-European human rights watchdog, and the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a pan-European forum for security issues, which "insist that the country should seek to uphold human rights".

He said the move "reflects the incompetence and lack of foresight by the current Ukrainian leadership".

Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday backed a decree allowing the country to rescind its commitments outlined in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Social Charter.

The decree was passed at second reading by 249 votes in the Verkhovna Rada, 23 more than the minimum required.

An explanatory note to the document says that in view of Ukraine’s inability to guarantee the full range of human rights in compliance with its obligations under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Social Charter, in its revised version, and in connection with "the objective need to take measures to repel armed aggression of the Russian Federation, Ukraine has to temporarily rescind its commitments to upholding certain human rights [in the zone of military operations] within the limits permitted by relevant international agreements".

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