Archive for February 27th, 2010

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The Bandera Issue……Morals, Politics and the EU

February 27, 2010

Brussels, February 25 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The European Parliament has criticized a decision by ex-president of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko to award Stepan Bandera the title of Hero of Ukraine and expressed hope the new leadership would reconsider this.

This is stipulated in paragraph 16 of a European parliament resolution on Ukraine, which was supported by the European MPs in Brussels on Thursday.

The European parliament said it deeply deplored the decision by outgoing President of Ukraine Viktor Yuschenko to posthumously award Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), “which collaborated with Nazi Germany, the title of National Hero of Ukraine.”

The European parliament expressed hope, in this regard, that the new Ukrainian leadership would reconsider such decisions and would maintain its commitment to European values.

Well this statement is a little late in coming from the EU in my opinion.

Why has it taken the EU so long to make this statement when Mr Yushenko made this controvercial award on 22nd January……over 1 month ago!

It did not take the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation longer than a few days to condemn the award, or the jewish leaders in Ukraine…….and yet it takes the EU 5 weeks to make the statement on the day of inaugeration of a new President to make it?

Where they worried about criticising Mr Yushenko at the time……despite having already been summarily voted out of office by the Ukrainian nation 15 days before he made the award and it being obvious there would be a new leader?

Was the delay because they wanted to see if Ms Tymoshenko would win and they did not want to upset her core voters in Western Ukraine by expressing thier distaste over an award more favoured by Tymoshenko voters than Yanukovych voters?

If Tymoshenko had won, would they still have made this statement on the day of her inaugeration and started any new relationship with bad blood between her and the EU……after all she could hardly overturn the award having won on the back of Western Ukrainian votes who have a more pro-Bandera mindset.

Of course, PoR were against the award and appealled to Yushenko to overturn it immediately…….but when they are trying desperately to form a new coalition which will have to include those who hail from more pro-Bandera regions and parties, overturning this now will have a detrimental effect on any chnce they have of forming a coalition…..even if the EU have now come out and said they find it “distasteful”.

The question is, would it have been better to be morally upright at the time of the award, particularly with an out-going President than to drop yet another divisive issue on a new President which needs to try and unite a nation and get a political consensus to change anything here within parliament?

If the award is so abhorrent to the EU then surely condeming it at the time was not only morally the right time to do it, but also would only inflict damage on an out-going President and not dump an additional divisive issues on a new one…….which ever it would have turned out to be.

I would like to hear the reasoning behind making such a statement on the inaugeration day of a new president from the EU big-wigs rather than doing it at the time!

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