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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted the resolution “The humanitarian concerns with regard to people captured during the war in Ukraine” at its plenary session. In the resolution, the Assembly urged the parties of the Ukrainian conflict to implement the Minsk Agreement, especially the paragraph on the exchange of prisoners.

In the opinion of member of the Estonian delegation to the PACE Andres Herkel, it would not be right to speak only of the human rights issues in the assessment of the events that have taken place. Security policy should also be taken into account. “Because of the complicated security situation, we should be ready for next bad developments. To avoid that, it is necessary to continue the implementation of sanctions against Russia and to ensure greater presence of NATO troops in Poland and the Baltic States,” Herkel said.

In his speech at the sitting of the ENPA, Herkel mentioned the cases of Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko and deputy speaker of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Ahtem Ciygöz, and torturing of the prisoners of war.

“There is no hope that the Russian Federation or its henchmen in Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea would listen to the recommendations of the PACE. Therefore the hope for development lies with the authorities of Ukraine, who should bring its national legislation into line with the provisions of international criminal law,” Herkel said.

“We were not ready for the events in Georgia in 2008 or in Ukraine in 2014. In the same way we were not ready for Russia’s destructive interference in Syria last year. We do not know where the next crisis will be, but we must be ready for it,” Herkel said.

Besides war in Ukraine, intellectual property rights in the Internet, gender equality, terrorist acts in Brussels, the Panama Papers, and other issues were also discussed at the session of the PACE in Strasbourg this week.

Andres Herkel: +372 50 56 540

Riigikogu Press Service
Kati Varblane
Phone: +372 631 6353, +372 51 69 152