Ukrainian Members of Parliament Deprived of Their Seats

Press Statement
Patrick Ventrell
Acting Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 5, 2013

The United States is deeply concerned by recent steps taken in Ukraine to remove Members of Parliament from the Rada. We note with particular concern efforts to deprive Serhiy Vlasenko, a Member of Parliament and defense counsel for former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, of his seat in Parliament, his corresponding immunity from prosecution, and his right to travel outside Ukraine. These actions appear to be politically motivated due to his connection with Mrs. Tymoshenko.

We also note with concern the High Administrative Court’s extra-judicial decision last month to annul the mandates of independent Members of Parliament Pavlo Blaloha and Oleksandr Dombrovsky. These actions create an atmosphere that inhibits political competition and freedom of expression.

The United States urges Ukrainian authorities to honor the will of Ukrainian voters as expressed in the October 2012 parliamentary elections. We call on the Ukrainian authorities to end politically motivated prosecutions of opposition leaders and to abide by their international commitments to the rule of law and democracy.

PRN: 2013/0249