The situation in Ukraine was debated today during the AFET committee meeting. 

On this occasion, Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), Chairman of the AFET Committee and Andrej Plenkovic (EPP, HR), Chairman of the delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee expressed their strong solidarity with those fighting for reforms in Ukraine.

Mr Brok and Mr Plenkovic issued the following statement:

„Today is an important day for Ukraine as amendments to the Constitution on decentralisation were passed by the Verkhovna Rada in first reading with an overwhelming majority. This is a remarkable achievement in a country that does not have a strong tradition of decentralisation. This is also new proof of the strong commitment of the Ukrainian authorities towards the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the peaceful resolution of the conflict.  

Against this background, we deeply regret the violence displayed in front of the Verkhovna Rada, triggered by forces which are against the decentralisation and reform process, and which caused the death of a policeman and left dozens injured. 

We call for calm, restraint and restoration of order.

We also call for full responsibility to be expressed by all political forces in Ukraine when taking these important decisions, in this crucial moment for the country, notwithstanding the very tense situation there and the aggression it has been facing in the last 18 months. 

We remind of our support for decentralisation, which is not only important as a Minsk commitment, but is also needed to further modernise Ukraine, in line with the letter and spirit of the Association Agreement and the European Reform Agenda.

We encourage further implementation of the commitments taken in the framework of the Minsk Agreements, as the only viable to date peace plan, by all sides. We praise the efforts and the political audacity of the Ukrainian authorities taken so far in this regard.    

We would also like to reiterate the unwavering support of the European Parliament for the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders and appeal for the peaceful reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories of parts of Donbas and illegally annexed Crimea.“