Ukraine’s struggle against Russia, which has unleashed and is waging a war against Ukraine, continues not only in the Donbas, but also in the diplomatic arena. In particular, the fighting has lately escalated on the platform of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. On October 11, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko spoke at the PACE session and responded to numerous statements regarding Ukraine.
A rather powerful campaign has started which states that it is time to lift the sanctions which have been imposed on Russia. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that certain politicians are on the hook of Russian intelligence agencies due to some facts from their distant or more recent past. But going by statements made in the PACE, the Kremlin has intensified the use of the financial instrument of influence. Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland has effectively acknowledged that because of the Russians’ refusal to keep funding the Council of Europe, the organization may have serious problems, and therefore, it is claimed that it needs to do a compromise on values. This conclusion can be drawn from the public statements of Ukrainian representatives in the PACE.
“Three years ago, I was standing here as well. I would sincerely wish to address you today with words that the aggression against my country is over. That, in Ukraine, the peaceful life gradually returns. Unfortunately, even after three years since my statement before the Assembly, we have still not reached this perspective. You are well aware of the reason why,” Poroshenko said as he addressed the PACE session. “Moscow continues to turn a blind eye to its commitments under the Minsk Agreements. Nothing has changed in Russian behavior. Russia continues to carry out brutal attacks not only against Ukraine, but also against democratic values in the occupied territories. Russia keeps pretending that it has nothing to do with that. But every day we receive more worrying news about blatant violations of human rights on the occupied territories.”
“It is worth reflecting on the ultimate purpose of the Council of Europe and the PACE,” deputy director of the Center “New Europe” Serhii Solodkyi commented for The Day. “Were they created to support several hundred bureaucrats at the expense of member states, including Russia, and to maintain their personal lifestyles, or were they created in order to protect values, human rights, and consolidate democracy on the continent? If the correct answer is the first one, then it is better to dissolve these bodies and remember them as a disgraceful example in the modern history of Europe. If, nevertheless, these organizations were created in order to further consolidate the human rights on the continent, then any mention of the financial component is better avoided. Because if we choose money in the dilemma of justice versus money, then with all due respect for Jagland, he demonstrates the unsavory side of European politics, shows its corruption-friendly nature, and proves that such a phenomenon as ‘Schroederization’ continues to spread its metastases.”