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“On the evening of February 18, International and European Liberals looked on in dismay as the regime of President Viktor Yanukovych once again authorized security forces to crackdown on anti-government protesters in Kyiv, Ukraine. With at least 18 confirmed deaths and hundreds of injured, it should be clear that the governing authorities have lost all legitimacy. It is particularly disappointing that renewed violence, especially attacks on unarmed civilians, comes only days after the release of opposition detainees and the appearance of genuine progress.”

“IFLRY and LYMEC reiterate their complete solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and their struggle to protect dignity, human rights, and democracy. Clearly, the renewed escalation of violence sits squarely on President Yanukovych and his regime. After late-night talks with opposition leaders failed this morning, at which opposition parties were solely blamed for the violence, it should be abundantly clear that future negotiation with the existing regime would be highly suspect if not impossible.”

“Ukraine’s future belongs in Europe. IFLRY and LYMEC fully support the European path of Ukraine, the consistent aspiration of its people for freedom, rule of law, and the development of further liberal-democratic norms. We call on the EU, the Council of Europe, the broader Euro-Atlantic alliance, as well as other international organizations to implement concrete measures to ensure the immediate cessation of violence and the restoration of genuine democracy. Such measures could include, but are not limited to; targeted financial sanctions, future criminal prosecution against those perpetrating violence, international monitoring, and calls for early Presidential elections.”

“IFLRY and LYMEC urge its respective member organizations to highlight the plight of the Ukrainian people at this difficult time and advance our call for action with domestic and regional decision makers.”

Christian Scharling (President of IFLRY) & Jeroen Diepemaat (President of LYMEC)

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