On May 25th pre-term election
Having fled Ukraine the former president Yanukovych ceased to fulfill his constitutional duties – thus creating a dangerous power vacuum within the state. In view of this Verhovna Rada (the parliament) of Ukraine ruled to disassociate the president from fulfilling his constitutional duties and to set the pre-term elections for May 25th 2014. Necessary preparations have been taken to make sure the election is free and transparent – including inviting observers from European Parliament, OSCE, Council of Europe, NATO, BSEC and GUAM. A special ODIHR mission commenced its work on March 19th.
On Cabinet’s legitimacy and inclusiveness
The Cabinet of Ministers, in its current composition enjoys support of a clear parliamentary majority comprising 250 MPs under participation of three factions, two parliamentary groups (mostly, former PoR faction) and a number of independents. Each cabinet nomination was passed in a strict adherence to procedure, with a clear parliamentary majority. The Cabinet comprises natives of all parts of Ukraine, citizens of Ukrainian, Russian, Jewish and Armenian ethnicity.
On Language Law
Ukraine still operates under the 2012 Language Law – giving the ethnic minorities the right to proclaim their language official in respective parts of the country. So far this provision has been applied in 19 regions, including major cities and oblasts of Ukraine’s East and South. The Feb 23rd decision by the parliament to annul this law and roll back the rights of ethnic minorities wasn’t enacted by the interim president. Meanwhile, a new Language Law is being drafted in respective Rada committee – to better observe the rights and interests of all language groups.
On minority rights protection
There is no evidence whatsoever of rights of ethnic Russians or Russian-speaking citizens being violated or infringed upon in today’s mainland Ukraine. All contrary allegations by the Russian propaganda are unsubstantiated. This was confirmed by OSCE High Commissioner Astrid Thors during her inspection in the Crimea in early March 2014. On the other hand, due to the actions of separatists in the Crimea, the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar minorities can come under a threat from the new, illegitimate authorities. In particular, within last two weeks there have been multiple instances of assault on Ukraine-oriented citizens, priests and journalists.
On paramilitary groups
On March 18th the Prime minister of Ukraine ordered all paramilitary groups to be disarmed and disbanded. Their participants are encouraged to enroll with the newly created National Guard.