MP Andriy Shkil, Head of the Ukrainian delegation, pointed to the prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko and the use of the security services for political purposes, as examples of an assault on democratic principles in Ukraine since the beginning of Mr. Yanukovych’s presidency. Borys Tarasyuk deemed the current government as illegitimate while Ivan Zayets stated that the decision of the Yanukovych government to declare Ukraine as a “non-block” state was incoherent and at odds with the national security interests of the nation. Other members of the delegation were also critical of the direction of Ukraine under the current administration and called on NATO to play close attention to domestic developments in their country.
UNIC members met with Senior NATO officials who briefed the parliamentarians on Ukraine ’s current relationship with NATO and the outcome of the Lisbon Summit. Despite the decision in Kiev to renounce NATO membership as a national security goal, Ukraine continues to cooperate closely with NATO and is participating in most NATO missions. General Volodymyr Shkidchenko, Minister Counsellor to the Ukrainian Mission to NATO, underlined that Kiev is looking to find additional ways to improve cooperation with the Alliance and expected that Ukraine would eventually participate in the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A).
NATO member country parliamentarians including John Sewel (UK), Giorgio La Malfa (Italy ) and Assen Agov (Bulgaria ) noted the comments of their Ukrainian counterparts and reaffirmed the importance of the UNIC as a forum to share views and build interparliamentary cooperation. Several members regretted that no members of President Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions were present at this meeting and expressed hope that the next meeting of the UNIC would feature members of the ruling party, so that interaction with parliamentarians from across the full spectrum of Ukrainian politics could be possible.