Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine
Groupe Canadienne pour la Démocratie en Ukraine
Канадськa Група сприяння демократії в Україні
February 12, 2013
Honourable John Baird,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament of Canada
John Baird (email@example.com)
On February 25, there will be a highly important European Union-Ukraine summit meeting in Brussels. The EU is prepared to sign a key Association Agreement, including a free-trade accord, provided Ukraine meets certain major conditions. One is the resolution of the incarcerated opposition politicians. The moment is of huge historic significant for the future of Ukraine.
The Association is vital for the independence of Ukraine and at the same time, its political future rests on the need for an unfettered opposition. The Government of Canada has made its position clear on the matter of incarcerated opposition leaders. We ask that it again makes diplomatic demarches to the key parties; supporting the great value of the Association Agreement and the need for Ukraine to meet the EU's conditions. The outcome of the deliberations is so significant that we believe the EU should maintain a firm position. A joint statement by Canada and the United States in support of this position would be most meaningful.
Meanwhile, the EU has given Ukraine until November to comply. There is deep concern about the health and safety of ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko and former minister of security Yurij Lutsenko. An overture from Canada, to again provide medical assistance and oversight to the jailed opposition leaders to assure the integrity of the process is urgently needed.
We are looking forward to your reaction to our request.
With warmest regards,
Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Hon. Thomas Mulcair
Hon. Bob Rae
Mr. Robert Sopuk
H.E. David Plunkett
H.E. Troy Lulashnyk
Mr. Arseniy Yatseniuk
Mr. Hryhoriy Nemyria
February 14, 2013
The Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine asked Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, to intervene in the release of Ukraine's incarcerated political opposition leaders as a pre-requisite to the signing of the European Union's Association Agreement. Although the EU has given Ukraine until November to comply the issue is central to the EU-Ukraine Summit to be held on February 25 in Brussels.
"The EU is prepared to sign the key Association Agreement, including a free-trade accord, provided Ukraine meets certain major conditions. The key one is the resolution of the incarcerated opposition politicians. The moment is of huge historic significant for the future of Ukraine", the Group says in its letter.
By asking Canada to call on President Viktor Yanukovych to respond positively to the EU position, the Group aims to assist Ukraine in becoming a signatory to the Agreement.
It appears that Ukraine is anxious to sign. Postponement of its latest meeting on the Customs Union with Russia et al, active diversification of energy supply away from Russia supports this as does the President's recent statement that Ukraine "can't fail to react to the EU's constant criticism on this (incarceration) question."
To ensure a positive outcome of the Summit the Group seeks Canada's intervention in pressuring Ukraine to support "...the great value of the Association Agreement and need for Ukraine to meet the EU's conditions." It urges a joint statement by Canada and the United States to send a strong message to President Yanukovych to do the right thing and comply.