German and European politicians raise concerns on rising nationalism in Ukraine - WFSB 3 Connecticut

German and European politicians raise concerns on rising nationalism in Ukraine

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SOURCE Europaisches Zentrum fur Geopolitische Analyse - Deutschland

BERLIN, May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

The German opposition party, Die Linke (Left Party), and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung) held an international conference in Berlin on 5th May to discuss the issue of rising nationalistic and neo-fascist manifestations in Ukraine.

Alexander Prisyazhnyuk, member of the Ukrainian Rada (Parliament), gave a detailed overview of the situation in his country. He noted that as a result of "the political change of power in February, right wing ultra-nationalists came into power." From his point of view, "the current situation in Ukraine is a half-step away from an actual civil war." This was evident, once more, during the tragic events in Odessa on 2nd May where over 40 people died from an assault by Right Sector militants.  

The Ukrainian MP also stressed that "most lucid Ukrainian politicians are concerned that the representatives of these nationalistic movements came into power and received ministerial portfolios." Mr Prisyazhnyuk confirmed that MPs from the Svoboda party openly urge to destroy those who speak Russian." This message of hate is very dangerous for all of Europe. "The powers in Kiev refuse to establish a reasonable dialogue with the south-east regions, and instead the authorities are rejecting the cultural and socio-economic demands and referring to them as a display of separatism and extremism." The Ukrainian MP is confident that under these circumstances the elections that are planned on 25th May are in jeopardy.  It is vital to find a solution to the federalisation issue and to make necessary changes to the Constitution.

Sergey Kirichuk, a representative from the Ukrainian left wing movement Borot'ba, said that  "the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine should be boycotted because elections cannot be held under gunpoint by Right Sector supporters."

Sevim Dagdelen, an MP from the German Bundestag's Die Linke party,noted that "the issue of rising neo-nazism in Ukraine raises serious concerns in Germany." She added that "the German government does not provide extensive information on the situation in Ukraine, nor on its contacts with Ukrainian authorities and politicians. At the same time, German authorities do not want to categorise the Svoboda party as neo-fascist and instead see them as national conservative. Dagdelen stressed that "the German Government's recognition of the current power in Ukraine as legitimate was rushed."

In turn, Frank Natco, a senior member of the German Communist Party, noted that Germans are still trying to answer the question of how they allowed fascists to rise to power. He stressed that "it should not happen in Ukraine."

Hans Modrow, former Prime Minister of the GDR, focused on the role of NATO in the growing tensions with Ukraine. According to him, "by supporting the power in Kiev, NATO only helps the escalation of current tensions." Such actions "are proof that the Western bloc lacks a strategy", assured Modrow.  He also stressed that isolating Russia via sanctions is unacceptable, "Peace in Europe is possible only in cooperation with Russia."

A former British MP and the UK Minister for Europe, Denis Macshane drew attention to the current trend of rising nationalism and anti-semitism in Europe, which can also be seen in Ukraine. In his opinion, "political parties such as Svoboda or The Right Sector are very dangerous political powers that need to be carefully monitored." He also stressed the importance of a de-escalation of tension from all sides, including the disarmament of all opposition forces. Macshane underlined the necessity "to fight together against nationalism in Europe."  

Gaik Vartanyan, a leader of the Moldovan Socialist Party, added that his country "has already been through a painful rise of nationalism that led to the 1992 breakup and to the separation of Transnistria." Another cause for concern is the rise in nationalist mood that followed the election of right-wing politicians in 2009.

When speaking about the situation in neighbouring Ukraine, Mr Vartanyan noted the "lack of objective and truthful information in Western media, which benefits the authorities in Kiev." As an example he highlighted the lack of response from the West to the xenophobic statements of Oleg Tyagnibok, leader of Svoboda. According to Mr Vartanyan, "federalisation is the only option that Ukraine has in order to remain united."

In conclusion, German MPs from Die Linke stressed again the need for collective efforts from German and European politicians to de-escalate tensions around the Ukrainian crisis and prevent the rise of right-wing ultra-nationalists. The latter can only be done  by providing and distributing truthful information about the situation in Ukraine and by improving the dialogue between the authorities in Kiev and the representatives of the south-west regions.

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