The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a forum that brings together parliamentarians from 47 members states across the continent, passed a resolution Thursday during an emergency debate over Ukraine's political crisis and the government’s crackdown on opposition protests.
The resolution asserts that statements by Ukrainian officials indicated that the decision not to sign an association agreement with the EU in November was influenced by pressure applied by Russia.
Alexei Pushkov, a lawmaker with Russia’s lower house of parliament and the head of his country’s delegation to PACE, criticized the resolution backed by deputies from the EU as an undisguised assault on Russia.
“In the PACE resolution on Ukraine, the EU representatives are trying again to strike a blow to Russia…,” Pushkov wrote on his Twitter account Thursday.
EU lawmakers refrained Thursday from stripping the Ukrainian delegation of its vote, but said Thursday that the option would be kept open for April’s agenda if the authorities used force against protesters or violated their rights in other ways.
Pushkov said the PACE resolution reflected double standards for criticizing Ukraine over the violent clampdown on anti-government demonstrators, while EU authorities take similar measures against protests in their own countries.
Ukraine's decision to distance itself from the EU in order to seek closer ties with Russia sparked large-scale protests in Kiev and other parts of Ukraine that have in some parts descended into violent clashes between demonstrators and police. The ongoing protests prompted the government to resign earlier this week.