#Commentary of Valery Skorokhodov on Ukraine’s reaction to statement on possible lifting of sanctions against Russia by Council of Europe

The Council of Europe is considering lifting of sanctions from the Russian Federation, which were imposed in connection with the so-called ‘Russian aggression’ against Ukraine. This was officially stated by the Secretary-General of the organization Thorbjørn Jagland in an interview with the Financial Times. This was immediately described in the Ukrainian press as a betrayal of Ukraine by Europe.

The Ukrainian society is beginning to show that love and hate are just one step apart. This step has already been taken in the direction of the EU.

Prior to this, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s resolution that contained recommendations to Ukraine concerning the scandalous education law as it related to the languages of national minorities, soured relationship. Ukraine was pointed to violations of European legislation, including the European Convention on Human Rights, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages. The resolution is overcrowded with alarming for Ukraine allegories: “The assembly is concerned”, “the Assembly regrets”, “does not conform to the concept of living together”. In plain English, Europe has subjected the education law to derogatory criticism.

Ironically, this law was passed in the scope of implementation of the EU’s requirements for reforms in Ukraine. Even then, the Ukrainian government was unable to do its work and was severely criticized instead of being praised.

The Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels was a spectacular event illustrating Europe’s attitude towards Ukraine. The resolution adopted at the summit not only fails to confirm Ukraine’s hopes for membership in the EU (there is no mention of such a possibility!), but also pointed out its mistake made in the new education law, calling for respect for the rights of national minorities.

But the first and most sad thing for the Ukrainian authorities is that it has been made clear that there will be no money. “Financial support of the EU is provided if concrete steps towards the implementation of reforms are taken,ʺ the summit resolution stated. It was hinted at the lack of progress in the anti-corruption reform.

The fact that Ukraine was completely uninterested as a strong state and a partner to the EU was understandable to the inhabitants of Donbass, as well as to all reasonable people, in 2014. A glimmer of understanding of this fact began to emerge only after three years of war in Ukraine. However, this realization is not because Ukrainians regret dead people and destroyed houses, but because Europe already bluntly says that it has no intentions to lose Russia because of the Ukrainian politicians’ fantasies about the ‘aggressor’.

Valery Skorokhodov, the DPR People’s Council deputy

The official website of the DPR People’s Council

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