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Ukraine: both sides must take ‘concrete steps’ to solve the crisis

The Ukrainian authorities should enter into “open, honest and effective negotiations with the opposition” and promptly seek a wide consensus on the geopolitical alignment and further democratic development, as well as the constitutional order, of the country, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) said today at the end of an urgent debate.

The parliamentarians said that the repeal of the anti-protest laws and the resignation of the government are “a first step” towards a peaceful solution of the political crisis. These actions offer an important window of opportunity that should now be followed up “by both authorities and opposition with further concrete steps to resolve the crisis peacefully and democratically".

The resolution, based on a report by Mailis Reps (Estonia, ALDE) and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin (Sweden, EPP/CD) calls on police and protesters to refrain from any violence or actions that are clearly aimed at provoking a violent reaction from the other side, and underlines that the excessive and disproportionate use of force by the police, and other alleged violations of human rights “need to be fully and impartially investigated, addressed and remedied and the perpetrators brought to justice”. The Assembly welcomes the initiative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe to establish an independent advisory panel to investigate the violent incidents during the Euromaidan protests.

The Assembly decided not to consider the possibility of suspending the voting rights of the Ukrainian delegation at this moment. However, it could consider such sanctions at its part-Session in April “if grave human rights violations continue, or if the Maidan protest were to be broken up by force".