ALDE – EU must be ready to introduce targeted sanctions if Yanukovich ignores democracy

Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE Leader told the European Parliament in Strasbourg today that Europe needs a credible, action based strategy to bring change in Ukraine and stop violence immediately including, if necessary, the use of sanctions. He was speaking during a debate on the situation in Ukraine.

He said “First, we have to load the gun. We have to be prepared to introduce targeted sanctions to individual members of the regime: banning them from traveling to Europe; restricting their visa’s and most importantly freezing their assets. Once the ‘sanction gun’ is loaded, we have to be prepared to use it if Yanukovich doesn’t immediately comply with the rules of democracy and reason.”

Mr Verhofstadt reiterated that sanctions must go hand in hand with positive measures, a visa free regime for all ordinary Ukrainians and a substantial financial assistance package to support the Ukrainian economy.

In concluding he said “The Ukrainian people on Maidan are defending not only their right and their dignity. They are also defending Europe. They are also defending our European values. They are defending our European Neighborhood Policy. Because if they leave the square, the whole region is simply falling back into a new version of the old USSR.”

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