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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Ukraine Debates with Poroshenko to help bring parties in conflict to Dialogue on Peace Reforms ?

CoE Ukraine Debates with Poroshenko to help bring parties in conflict to Dialogue on Peace Reforms ?

Written by ACM
Sunday, 22 June 2014

*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- A probable 1st European Public Debate on the Ukranian Humanitarian and Geo-Political Crisis, since a Plan presented by President Poroshenko, (who will participate next week in Strasbourg to CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly's Plenary Session, during which will be also elected the Secretary General of the Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law for the period 2014-2019, shortly before Brussels' EU Summit is due to choose its Candidate for New EU Commission's President, and discuss with the Ukranian President the outcome of a short CeaseFire Time Deadline that he set for Friday, 10 a.m.), might, hopefully, help the "Peaceful Plan" for "a Settlement" of the Eastern Ukraine conflict, avoid any "Ultimatum" trap (Comp. Infra), and succesfuly evolve into a fully-fledged, Democratic Dialogue and Negotiation on the planned Constitutional Reforms, due to be examined by CoE's "Venice" Commission asap.

A "Peaceful" Plan of the President of Ukraine, on the Settlement of the situation in Eastern Regions" of the Country, (i.e. Donetsk and Luhansk), as are officially called the proposals unveiled by Poroshenko Friday Evening, after last-minute Consultations and Changes, except from a much needed, but brief Suspension of Kiev's Military Attacks against the Dissident Regions for a Week, (20 - 27 June 2014), contains, mainly, 3 other series of particular points :

- It asks from the Dissidents to unilateraly "Disarm" themselves, to leave all Local Public Administration Buildings, to Return all Power back to pre-existing Local Governments, to Restore Kiev's Central Radio-TV, to let establish a 10 km BufferZone cutting off their regions from the Ukranian - Russian Borders; (etc).

- In exchange, it promisses "Amnesty" for "those who didn't commit serious Crimes", and a "Corridor for the Escape of Russian and Ukrania Mercenaries", (as it calls them) ; followed by "Coordination.. with (undisclosed)Representatives of the Donbas" area on future "Candidates Governors" to be appointed at the Head of Regions by Kiev's National Authorities, as well as a "DeCentralisation of Power", "through the Election of Executive Committees, Protection of Russian Language", and (not determined yet, but relevant) Draft Amendments to the Constitution".

- Finally, this is due to be accompagnied by "Early Local and Parliamentary Elections", on the Political field, as well as by a "Program to create Jobs in the region", and the "Restoration of Industrial objects and Social Infrastructure", damaged by Kiev Military's attacks.

+ As a last-minute Change, that Pan added also a point promissing "Security Guarantees for all the Participants of Negotiations", but without explaining who might participate, and who not.

An uncertain indication was only given by the Presidential Spokeswoman Irina Herashenko, who spoke only about some meetings of Poroshenko's intention to "meet" with "Intellectuals and Journalists",  as well as to "expand .. Dialogue with (undetermined Representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk Regio,ns", (without mentioning at all the Leaders of the Dissidents who organized the pro-"Autonomy" Popular Referenda of May 11, 2014, and a Resistance to Kiev's Military Attacks since mid-April 2014).

Dissidents who might Refuse to Disarm themselves before the Friday 27 June, 10 a.m. Time Deadline, would be reportefly "Eliminated", according to some Press Reports, (which are not, however, published at the official website of President Poroshenko).

=> The 1st Public Reaction from the Federalists Dissident Regions, reportedly was self-declared Lugansk Republic's head, Valeri Bolotov's statement that "nobody will lay down his arms, as long as there is no full Withdrawal of the (Kiev's) Army from our territory", while at Donetsk, Militants, supported by Thousands of Civilian People, reportedly demonstrated by taking an "Oath" to never abandon unilateraly the defense of their Home regions.

However, shortly afterwards, all the Dissident Regions' Leadership clearly promissed to fully Respect the Ceasefire, at least until the Deadline set by Poroshenko (on June 27 : Comp. Supra), addi,ng also a promisse to Stop any Troops' Movements, during the ceasefire. But they accused Kiev's Military to Disrespect, in fact, the Ceasefire, by reportedly persisting to launch Mortar a.o. Attacks against at least 3 differend areas.

Most importantly, Dissidents reportedly denounced from the outset mainly the fact that "there is No Negociating Point" with them in Poroshenko's Plan, as it stands for the moment.

An immediate comment by the Russian Foreign Ministry, (after denouncing also a Kiev's Military Fire even at the Russian Borderline, which reportedly "Destroyed a Building" and wounded a Rusian Customs officer), strongly Critcized the fact that "Unfortunately, the initial analysis shows that this is Not a proposal for Peace or Negotiations, but rather an Ultimatum to militia groups in southeast Ukraine, to Lay Down their Arms".

Because, "so far, the Key component is Missing – that is the proposal to commence Negotiations", as it pointed out.

- Indeed, most provisions in Poroshenko's Plan "look like an Ultimatum", explicitly denounced the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov :  - "The point is that, all those who Disagree with the present (Kiev's) authorities, and the way they came to power (back on February 21, 2014, just after the Deadly "Snipers" provoked Violent Clashes), have only several days, a Week, to Lay Down their Arms. Otherwise, Leave Ukraine, and, then, we may take a look to see whether you have committed grave crimes or not, and if not, then you May be Amnestied,” he reportedly observed.

- "The plan Lacks the Key thing - a proposal to start Dialogue. This is a drastic departure from the Geneva statement of April 17, which is still supported by all of our Western partners, the USA, the EU and the Ukrainian authorities or at least they say so". Lavrov reminded that “the Ukrainian authorities have subscribed to this (Geneva, April 17) Statement which makes it quite clear that, apart from stopping the violence and all forms of extremism, it is necessary to Start an Inclusive Dialogue, that should embrace All Regions and All Political Forces, in order to come to Agreement on the Constitution Reform”.

=> “It calls for ‘immediately’ starting the CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM THROUGH such DIALOGUE", he underlined. "Enough Time has passed since April 17, when it was adopted, for the new Ukrainian authorities to state concrete proposals on how such a Dialogue, (the commencement of which was demanded by the parties to the Geneva statement), can be organised. We haven’t seen anything like that happening yet,” Lavrov denunced.

+ However, Russian President Vladimir Putin's 1st official reaction, diplomatically was to express his "support" to "the decision by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on Ceasefire in East Ukraine, as well as his intent to take a number of specific Measures to reach a Peaceful Settlement", but, "at the same time", he "noted that the proposed plan will Not be Viable or realistic; IF no practical steps are taken to commence Negotiation process"

Therefore, "the peace plan proposed by President Poroshenko should Not take the Form of an Ultimatum to militia groups. The Opportunity that opens up with the end of hostilities should be used to Start Constructive Negotiations and to reach a political Compromise between the parties to the conflict in southeast Ukraine.

The President of Russia calls on all parties to the conflict to cease hostilities and sit down at the negotiating table.

=> OSCE's Chairman-in-office, Swiss President Didier BurkHalter, reportedly found "an important Chance" towards a sustainable Desescalation of Tension in Ukraine, and expressed the "Hope that it would Open a Window of Opportunity for DIALOGUE", as the experienced also Foreign Minister stressed in conclusion, (obviously referring to the famous April 17, 2014, Geneva Agreement on Ukraine by EU-Russia-USA Foreign Ministers).

Even Pope Francis, has recently launched, at the beginning of June 2014, a vibrant Call for "Dialogue" and "Reconciliation", among "All Parties involved", by "overcoming MisUnderstandings", as he reportedly stressed already since June 2, i.e. in the middle of some  very Tragic Days particularly for the Civilian Population at the Dissident regions of Eastern Ukraine, (comp., f.ex. : ......), when he reportedly "Prayed for the Victims... in some Regions of Ukraine", "with a very Sad Heart".

    Speaking on Saturday, June 21, German Chancellor Angie Merkel reportedly welcomed the Ceasefire, and stressed that ""the Suffering of the People in the SouthEastern Ukraine must come to an End"/

- For that purpose, Merkel "is convinced that it is now time to find a Political Solution", for which,  "the proposal submitted by the Ukrainian president's peace plan, forms a very good Basis".

CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, welcomed "an Important Step towards Lasting Peace and stability in Ukraine", and expressed the "Hope" that "this will Enable the Necessary  Negociations to take place, as Soon as possible".
"What is Essential Now, is that all sides Refrain from Violence, and respect Human rights and the rule of Law", he urged for the moment.

++ Reacting at least to the initial Comments, Ukranian President Poroshenko, added, inter alia, that "Immediate (i.e. in less than a Week) fulfillment of the peaceful Plan will Open the Path to the political Dialogue", (but without explaining how this would be done in real practice).

=> In this regard, he "Invite(d)" not only the previous, "legally elected representatives of local government, civic organizations", etc., but also "Everyone else to this Dialogue", as he said for the 1st time.

 - In particular, "diametrically Different Views will not be a barrier to Participation in the Negotiations", he promissed, as a matter of principle. Therefore, "I am ready to Talk with those who have Erred, who Mistakenly stood in the position of Separatism", as he said on the most Crucial point, (as if he Opened ...Half of a Window of Opportunity for real Peace, since it obviously remains still to clarify whether all those Dissident People who don't think that they "erred", or that they made only "Mistakes", will be allowed to participate to Peace Talks, or not...
+ Apparently Excluding just those "who were involved in the acts of terrorism, murder or torture", as he said, (without explaining, however, if by "Terrorism" he meant all those Dissidents who were obliged to take arms just in order to Defend their Home Towns from Kiev's Destructive and Deadly Military Attacks, or, on the contrary, only those who might have abused of Violence in order to attack innocent Civilians at their workplace in an attempt to provoke Fear, Destructions, etc. in order to Submit them under their Power)...  

- "I guarantee Safety for All Participants of the Negotiations", i.e. "for Anyone who wants to speak the language of Arguments, instead of the language of Weapons", at last Poroshenko added, more Positively, apparently excluding only those who, from both sides, might eventualy insist to abuse of Violence, Army, and Mlitary Weapons, instead of Political Dialogue...

 - Naturally, for him, "the issue of territorial integrity of Ukraine is out of discussion!"; as well as "the issues of unity, territorial structure, language and GeoPolitical Orientation", as he added for the Ukranian State.

 - Instead, "the Way Out of this situation ...is in a Broad DeCentralization of Power", Poroshenko suggested, (i.e. apparently Excluding Federalism).

=> In particular, "I will convey Part of my Powers to Local Authorities and territorial Communities", while the long-awaited, crucial "respective Amendments to the Constitution can be adopted in a few Weeks", so that "We can count on final Adoption already in September", he promised, (almost reaching the Time Period qu' "EuroFora" had guessed recenty, (Comp. ...)

+ Afterwards, "Under the New Constitution, we will hold the Elections to Local (but "Not Regional".. ) Councils. The Councils will form ... executive committees and Elect their Heads. And (for the 1st time in Ukraine's History), it will be they, Not Appointees from Kyiv, who will Rule the Regions and manage local Budgets", which "will be substantially Increased", since "Part of Taxes will be redistributed for the benefit of communities, cities, districts and regions", he promissed, (i.e. practically eyeing to bring Ukraine's Local/Regional Authorities close to CoE's general Standards throughout Europe for ordinary Local/Regional Democracy, according to CLRAE's principles).

++ Moreover, in the particular case of Ukraine, "Decentralization provides for the extension of the rights of Regions in matters of Historical Memory, Cultural Traditions and Language policy", he promissed : Thus, "Local communities of Donbas will have a right to freely use Russian Language (only for Local use), along with the State Language (due to remain Ukranian for all National level uses, according to Poroshenko's initial offer). And "Communities will determine themselves to what Monuments they should lay Flowers. What they should Celebrate, and what Songs they should sing at the Holiday table. ...in which Churches to pray", he added, (obviously citting, except from ...Chrysanhemes, also some among the Symbolic but Important for the People, Cultural and Historic Identity issues).

 - On Economy, "Donbas" area will have "Help" from "Ukraine"'s State and "also the EU", because it "will Not be able to deal with its problems Alone", "in  conditions of Decentralization", he estimated.

=> Thus, "We (i.e. the National, Ukranian State) will Help to Restore the Infrastructure Destroyed", and "at the cost of the (National) State, we will Restore Housing Destroyed during Combat Actions (as he called Kiev's Military Attacks since alreadu long Before Poroshenko's Election : since April and May 2014, but notoriousy Intensified afterwards), we will Restore Workspaces", so that Donbas residents" (who were notoriously obliged to massively transfrom themselves into IDPs/Refugees since Kiev's Military Attacks) will have a place to Return, to live and to work", as he promissed.

But, naturally, "for the Investors in the Economy of Donbas", (as well as, more or less, all Ukraine, Nation-wide..), "It is clear that there will be no Investments, unless there will be Peace", the experienced former Businessman Poroshenko acknowledged.

+ Moreover, any really "Peaceful Plan canot be implemented without a Broad Support of Residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions", he also admitted, (inevitably touching upon Political Compromise and Agreement matters).

 However, "I understand that not all People are ready to perceive or even hear the <<peaceful Plan>> under the roar of Cannon Fire", he acknowledged, indirectly but surely pointing at the necessary, but short Ceasefire of 1 week only.

Nevertheless, he prefered to "think that even those (Civilian People : mainly Women, unarmed Elders, etc) who had Sacrificed their bodies and souls to create Shields (f.ex. right in front of Kiev Military's Tanks, as many emotional Videos and Photos attest in several Villages of the Dissident areas) a few Months ago, have ..Changed their mind today", as he speculated.. And he called for "Pressure", "both from Kyiv and local residents" upon Dissident "Militants", while accusing only those that he called "Gangs of Mercenaries", or even mere .. "Terrorists", to be alone responsible for having "Paralyzed normal life and left people without means of living", (after many Months of notorious and systematic Kiev Military's Attacks, with many Tanks, Army AirPlanes, Helicopters, Mortars, etc, in addition to Water, Electricity, Transports, Mobile Phones, Medical Drugs, Banks and Social Revenues, even Hospitals' Destructions and/or Cuts,  by recent Military a.o. Bombings...., Comp., f.ex. : ...)

 - Otherwise, i.e. "to Solve the Problem by (Military) Force, is Not an Easy task, (as 3 Months of mostly vain Kiev's Military Attacks have largely shown, from April and May 2014, until now June 2014...) - Because "It means to sacrifice new and Numerous Casualties, consciously and forcedly. To pay much Bigger Human Price, than the losses we (Dissident Regions' Civilian Population of Donetsk and Luhansk, at Eastern Ukraine) have Unfortunately already Suffered today", Poroshenko admitted.

- Nevertheless, "I will not let Donbas (Eastern Ukraine's areas) transform into something similar to Transnistria", (a "self-declared Republic", mainly with Rusian-speaking population, legaly part of Moldova, both former parts of USSR, but now living de facto peacefuly side by side, however in Difficult conditions), he declared.
- "We (Kiev's rulers) still have a choice and a chance to Resolve the Problem Peacefully, or by Force..... We foresee Various Scenarios", among which, the "Peaceful Scenario is the Main. It is our Plan A"

"But", if it doesn' work, then,  "we (Kiev's Government) have a detailed plan B" also, Poroshenko Warned in conclusion, saying that he prefered "Peace" as "Better Option".

 - On Sunday, June 22, German Chancellor Angie MERKEL, speaking by Phone both with French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin, reportedly "stressed the need for All Sides to respect the CEASEFIRE, and to SET IN MOTION a Political DIALOGUE PROCESS", officially anounced her Spokesman, Steffen Siebert from Berlin.

According to a parallel communiqué by Hollande, (who had previously spoken also with USA President Obama), ensure a full control over the Russo-Ukranian Border was also part of the talks.

- Almost in response, Russian President Vladimir Putin, reportedly declared on Sunday, that "the fact that (Ukranian) President Poroshenko has declared a Ceasefire is without question an Important Step towards reaching a final settlement, and perhaps is one of the most important conditions for this to happen. Russia will certainly Support these plans", he promised.

 - "But ultimately, it is the Political process that is Most important", he stressed. Therefore, "It is important that this ceasefire Open the Way to a DIALOGUE between All of the Parties to the Combat, so as to find solutions that will be acceptable to all sides, in order to ensure that People in SouthEast Ukraine have no doubt that they are an integral part of the country, have the Same Rights as all other citizens, and know that these rights are Guaranteed, including by Ukraine’s Constitution. This requires a Substantial and Detailed Dialogue. This is the Key to Success", Putin concluded.

>>> At any case, during the forhcoming CoE Assembly's Debates on Ukraine, and President Poroshenko's 1st visit to Strasbourg, next Thursday, among various other possibilities, It's obvious, that, since the most Important point for a Peaceful Solution on the Ukranian Conflict notoriously is a possible Federalisation and/or DeCentralisation Reform, then, if anyone in Kiev might eventually, more or less Refuse to Negociate Directly with the South-Eastern Regions' Dissidents, then, at least, f.ex. CoE's "Venice" Committee might include such a necessary pluralist Debate, between All Parties involved, perhaps through an adequate use of Consultation procedures during the preparation of its Report on the forthcoming Ukraine's Constitutional Reforms this Summer and/or Autumn...





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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?

CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...


Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..


"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock


"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"


PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.


Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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