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JBANC Statement on the situation in the Ukraine

From: jbanc@jbanc.org
December 11, 2013
JBANC Statement on the Situation in Ukraine
The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC), echoing the concerns of Americans of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian heritage, and the Ukrainian people and concerned individuals and governments around the world, calls for a fair, democratic, and peaceful solution to the increasingly volatile situation in Ukraine. This should take into account the desires of the people of Ukraine who are defending freedom and democracy, despite the growing violence directed against them. We agree with Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement expressing disgust with the Ukrainian government’s use of force against peaceful protesters.
Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Ukrainian citizens gathered at EuroMaidan rallies throughout the country have for nearly three weeks been actively and peacefully expressing their deep dissatisfaction with the direction taken by the current leadership of Ukraine. In turning down the EU Association Agreement and in delaying closer cooperation with the European Union, the government has lost the trust of the citizens of Ukraine, who desire the rule of law, freedom of speech, economic opportunity, and a “European direction” for their country. 

JBANC urges the current Ukrainian government under Viktor Yanukovych to listen to the voice of the people of Ukraine, and to ignore Moscow’s tactics of interference in Ukraine - first bluntly coercing Yanukovych and his partners to turn down the Association Agreement and then grossly misrepresenting and providing disinformation about developments there. The destruction of the Lenin statue in Kyiv on December 8 is another sign that Ukrainians want less of Moscow, and less of the old ways of doing business. 

We stand with the people of Ukraine during this difficult time.
Karl Altau
Managing Director,  Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
Estonian American National Council, Inc.
American Latvian Association, Inc.
Lithuanian American Council, Inc.