Czech govt wants ban on those responsible for Ukrainian violence


19.02.2014 20:32

Prague - The Czech cabinet believes that it is not possible for people who are responsible for the violence in Ukraine to be allowed to enter the EU member states, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said today, adding that major responsibility rests with Ukraine´s cabinet.


Střety protivládních demonstrantů s policisty na náměstí Nezávislosti v Kyjevě. ČTK/AP Efrem Lukatsky

Zaoralek said after a government meeting he wants to debate the list of people to be covered by the ban in Brussels.

Zaoralek has cancelled his planned visit to Slovakia over the Brussels journey.

Zaorlake met Ukrainian ambassador to the Czech Republic Borys Zaychuk later today to inform him of the government´s critical stand on the situation in Ukraine where minimally 25 people have died in clashes between the demonstrators and the police since Tuesday.

Zaoralek wrote in a press release that he told Zaychuk that the methods used against demonstrators in Kiev and other cities are entirely unacceptable.

He told Zaychuk that it is not possible to say all demonstrators are radicals and that the attempt to deploy the military is an attempt to set it against the Ukrainian inhabitants, for which Yanukovych will bear responsibility.

Zaoralek said after the government meeting he would consider whether to go ahead with Yanukovych´s planned visit to Prague.

The Presidential Office with which Zaoralek consulted about further steps to be taken expressed a similar opinion today.

The planned sanctions that have been supported by several European countries could also affect the deposits the Ukrainian regime´s representatives responsible for the developments have at European banks.

Zaoralek said the Czech Republic has sent physicians to Ukraine and it is considering further aid, but is opposed to across-the-board sanctions that would also impact ordinary Ukrainians.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said the goal of the sanctions is the immediate halting of the violence, the withdrawal of forces clashing with the demonstrators and a return to the search for a political solution.

Sobotka said the sanctions to be imposed on the Ukrainian regime should also apply to President Viktor Yanukovych.

"Ukraine has a presidential or semi-presidential system, which means that Mr Yanukovych is the key figure from the point of view of Ukraine´s domestic politics and he undoubtedly bears a very strong responsibility for what is going on in Ukraine now," Sobotka said.

Zaoralek´s predecessor in the post of foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09), said today the escalation of violence in Ukraine terrifies him.

He said leading EU and Czech representatives should do their best to subdue the violence and mediate an acceptable compromise.

His party colleague Miroslav Kalousek said he has addressed a lawyer´s office to ask the Supreme State Attorney´s Office and the relevant EU institutions to check whether Yanukovych may have committed crimes against humanity.

Zaoralek said he does not have any information of a danger threatening Czechs in Ukraine.

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