On March 1st on the National Front's website (frontnational.com) published a statement regarding the political situation in Ukraine, including Russian intervention in the Crimea. Thus, they state that the current Ukrainian government is illegitimate. Moreover, the party claims that the new government was formed under an act of duress exercised by "radical militants who blew up democracy". In conclusion it is mentioned that new Ukrainian authorities "deny Russian-speaking population's rights, censors opposition TV and destroys the Orthodox churches".
As this is false, Svoboda wishes to refute the above-mentioned statement and warn that National Front's position contributes to military occupation of Ukraine and poses a threat to the EU's future.
Full text of Svoboda's letter to the National Front is available below:
To the National Front.
Ladies and gentlemen,.
We are deeply concerned with the position of your party concerning the situation in Ukraine, which was published on the National Front's official website. In our opinion, the information that you mention is significantly distorted, and, thus, the conclusions you draw do not reflect the situation in Ukraine in general and in Crimean peninsula in particular. Unfortunately, the "arguments" put forward by your political force coincide with those voiced by the Russian Federation leaders, and are false.
Taking this fact into account, let us comment on the claims made by you. In the recent days, Russian Federation's actions regarding Ukraine have reached the scale that endangers territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Ukraine.
On February 27th, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (the Ukrainian Parliament) with 331 out of 450 votes appointed a new government. This government included not only political forces' representatives, as it was before, but also civic activists, since Euromaidan's victory was a result of extraordinary consolidation of the Ukrainian society as a whole.
Do not believe that the current events in Ukraine have split our country in half (East vs West) - this is a Russian propaganda. During the last three months of our hard struggle with Yanukovych's regime, the rallies for freedom and democracy were held weekly throughout Ukraine. Ukrainians abroad also supported Euromaidan, including those who reside in France.
Regarding the "censorship of opposition television programs". Indeed, during the President Yanukovych's regime, the authorities were pressuring the Media in Ukraine. Taking this into account, a newly formed majority in the Verkhovna Rada introduced new members to the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council team to replace the former representatives who compromised themselves by spreading false information.
It should also be noted that apart from censorship cases, during the last months of Yanukovych's government, dozens of journalists were violently beaten and wounded, and Vyacheslav Veremiy (a journalist of the newspaper "Vesti") was killed.
Another reproach regarding "destruction of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches of Moscow Patriarchate" does not reflect the reality. Putin's propaganda is traditionally using a religious theme as an argument to split Ukraine and give ground for its actions.
In order to justify the aggression, you "threaten with Crimea's autonomy abolishment". In this issue we emphasize - it is an internal policy matter of the sovereign state Ukraine.
In today's conditions military intervention of the Russian Federation by means of Crimean peninsula's occupation have no legal and even moral reasons. This military intervention breaks a number of treaties between Ukraine and Russia, as well as obligations undertaken by the Russian Federation in virtue of the Budapest Memorandum's signing in 1994, whereby the agreement between Ukraine, USA, Russia and Great Britain guarantees the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state. We bring to your notice that Ukrainian Constitution allows entry of foreign troops exceptionally by means of the adoption of a corresponding decision by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine which today is a completely legitimate body and which did not adopt such a decision. There are no preconditions in Ukraine for the civil war development, though the Russian leadership is striving exactly for this with a view to occupy Ukraine.
We support your call for the dialogue between Ukrainian people, legitimate authorities, the EU and Russia in order to resolve this situation. However we believe that such a dialogue should be conducted not by using a language of ultimatum and flagrant violation of the norms of international law, but on the basis of equality of parties, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
One must not allow repetition of the bloody past from the twentieth century. Putin's international and internal policy is an attempt to emulate Hitler and Stalin. We have no doubt that international community is mindful of the history lessons - we do not need a Third world war.
In view of the above, we ask you to refute the false information. In the subsequent comments on Russian military aggression in Ukraine, including on Crimean peninsula, we invite you to review carefully and objectively the whole case. Otherwise, we should interpret your actions as such that contribute to military occupation of Ukraine by the Russian Federation and pose threat not only for the future of Ukraine, but of the whole Europe.
Oleh Pankevych, Deputy Head of All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda", responsible for international relations, Member of Ukrainian Parliament.