At the invitation of Ukrainian Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Tiny Kox, together with the members of the Assembly’s Presidential Committee, travelled to Ukraine for the first official Council of Europe visit since the beginning of Russia’s aggression on 24 February 2022.
The President paid tribute to the Ukrainian Parliament for maintaining its essential activities during the war.
During the visit, the delegation held a meeting with the Speaker of the Verhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, to discuss how the Assembly can continue to effectively support Ukraine at this difficult time.
“I strongly condemn the atrocities against innocent civilians, including horrifying sexual violence, committed by the Russian army in the towns around Kyiv. Be assured that the Council of Europe will provide all possible assistance to facilitate the investigation into these war crimes, and to ensure that those responsible for them are brought to justice, including through concrete support to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine,” said Mr Kox.
The PACE President underlined the importance of further consolidating democracy and the rule of law in Ukraine as a part of the wide-scale reconstruction plan to be implemented after the war, and stressed that this will be a priority for the Assembly.
The Assembly’s delegation also met with the Mayor of Lviv, Andriy Sadovyy, and the head of the regional civil-military administration, Maxim Kozycky, and visited the local Humanitarian Aid Co-ordination centre. It praised the efforts made by local authorities to help the huge number of internally displaced persons who came to Lviv after the war began.
The delegation also met the members of the Ukrainian PACE delegation, led by Mariia Mezentzeva, and took part in a charitable event aimed at raising funds for the victims of Russian aggression.
During its April session the Assembly will hold several relevant debates, including on the Council of Europe’s response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, on the need to ensure accountability for serious violations of humanitarian law, and on how to put confiscated criminal assets to good use.
Composition of the delegation:
Tiny Kox, PACE President
Frank Schwabe, Chairperson of the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group (SOC)
Aleksander Pociej, Chairperson of the Group of the European People’s Party (EPP/CD)
Arkadius Mularczyk, European Conservatives Group and Democratic Alliance (EC/DA)
Jacques Maire, Chairperson of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
George Katrougalos, Chairperson of the Group of the Unified European Left (UEL)
Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis, PACE Secretary General