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Press Release

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the All-Ukrainian Referendum

April 06, 2000  #23

Ukraine upholds its commitment to the course of European integration, an indispensable part of which is further development and strengthening of democratic institutions, harmonization of their activity with the European norms and standards.

The all-Ukrainian referendum on April 16, 2000 is to become an important milestone along this way.

The respective Statement of the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Declaration of the European Union and Opinion of the Venice Commission on this issue were appreciated in Ukraine. They positively evaluate the decision by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the ensuing actions of the President of Ukraine.

Against this background, the debates in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the "Institutional reform in Ukraine" were harshly dissonant. The debates were actually confined to discussing a draft of the so-called "recommendation", prepared earlier by the PACE Monitoring Committee.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine believes that the resulting document, adopted after the debates, did not reflect the real situation in Ukraine and was in contempt of the Constitution, Constitutional Court and the Law of Ukraine, of all the branches of power.

An appeal to the President of Ukraine to postpone the referendum is absolutely unacceptable, since that would mean violation of the Constitution of Ukraine and the decision of the Constitutional Court.

The decision of the PACE does not take into account the main principles of democracy, according to which the only source of power are the people. It put into doubt the right of the Ukrainian people to determine and change their constitutional order.

In addition, attention should be drawn to the prejudiced and selective references to the Opinion of the Venice Commission, which had been entrusted by the Parliamentary Assembly itself to perform a thorough legal expertise of the decisions by the Ukrainian state authorities concerning the all-Ukrainian referendum.

Ukraine does not consider the mentioned actions of PACE against a full-fledged member of the Organisation as constructive.

PACE does not express the opinion of the whole Council of Europe, nor the opinion of the entire European community, to which Ukraine belongs.

Despite the adoption by PACE of the so called "recommendation", Ukraine as a full-fledged member-state of the Council of Europe will continue to cooperate fruitfully with all its bodies, with the purpose to consolidate democracy and to uphold human rights in Ukraine and in the whole of Europe.

For more information, please contact:
Taras Malyshevskyi, Press Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine
310 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0J9
Tel. (613) 230-2961, fax (613) 230-2400,