Didier Reynders deplores the regression of democracy in Ukraine, as identified by OSCE observers

date: 31 October 2012

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders has taken note of the provisional report by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on the parliamentary elections that took place in Ukraine on 28 October. Seven Belgian observers were dispatched by the FPS Foreign Affairs to monitor the progress of this election.

The report identifies a regression of the democratic process compared to the last election. With the exception of a small number of incidents, the voting proceeded calmly. But the observers emphasise that not all parties were on equal footing in terms of access to the media, resources and financing. Furthermore, processes that did not meet international standards led to opposition candidates being unable to participate in the elections: a state of affairs that High Representative Catherine Ashton also deplores.

Last September, Didier Reynders together with his colleagues from the Benelux and the Visegrád countries called upon the Ukrainian authorities to organise elections in conformance with OSCE standards. It is clear that this objective was not reached.

Didier Reynders is disturbed by the regression of the rule of law and of democracy in Ukraine. He reiterates that the signing of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine cannot be envisaged until significant progress has been made in this field. On the eve of the Ukrainian presidency of the OSCE, the minister calls on the Ukrainian government to take the necessary measures to break this vicious circle, above all by applying the recommendations that are to appear in the final report of the observer mission.