: 26-01-2003
Maidan Opinion: Mykola Azarov Should Be Disqualified from Ukraine-U.S. Negotiations

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These week, the Ukraine Government delegation headed by Vice Prime Minister Mykola Azarov will visit the United States for negotiations with U.S. Government representatives. We believe that Mr. Azarov should be disqualified from negotiating on behalf of Ukraine or her people.

The relations between Ukraine and the U.S. have been recently challenged. Prospective and active relations with the American people are in the Ukrainian interests. However, such a partnership is very unlikely under the current regime in Ukraine. Apparently, there is nothing to negotiate about with the representatives of President Kuchmas Administration and his Government. There are several reasons for this.

First, the representatives of President Kuchmas regime do not honor their promises. They have cheated on the U.S. Government, let alone the people of Ukraine, on many occasions. They promised to stop arms trade with Macedonia, but they failed their promise. They promised not to sell arms to Iraq, but they continued to fulfill military orders. Mr. Azarov personally promised to act upon the FATF requirements on money laundering, but did close to nothing and failed.

Second, President Kuchmas Administration and his Government are responsible for turning the modern Ukraine into an undemocratic and non-market state, without the rule of law. It is exactly those people who ruin attempts to build a civic society. The independence principle in Ukraine's Judiciary ceased to exist. Billions of dollars of international debt are spent mindlessly or are stolen by government officials. Same Kuchma's Government people are also responsible for physically destroying free journalism and media. They routinely dishonor human rights.

Inviting Mr. Azarov to a negotiation table, U.S. officials should realize that you will seat with a creator of GNAU, an organization specializing in political repressions rather than their official goal of collecting taxes. The very GNAU organization is oppressing the middle class, private entrepreneurs. GNAU is responsible for holding Ukraines businesses in conditions of oppression, coercion, and subjugation by government officials and their local representatives.

Mr. Azarov is alleged in personally ordering the destruction of a series of commercial banks, making account holders loose investments. He is also a key person in persecuting free media. He is the one behind persecuting honest individuals prosecuted on false charges of being not loyal to the system. Among those oppressed are the Slovjansky Bank, the Internet media outlet OBKOM, the banker Boris Feldman, and thousands of other companies and persons.

Mr. Azarov and his apprentice, now Prosecutor General, Sviatoslav Piskun, started enslaving the Judiciary of Ukraine. Prominent cases include disobeying the Law by GNAU operatives in Mr. Feldman vs. GNAU case, when GNAU people refused to fulfill the ruling of the court. In the case, the court, pressed by Mr. Azarovs people, refused Mr. Feldman the last statement in court. Even Soviet communists did not do that.

U.S. Government representatives should take into account that Ukrainian businesspeople call Mr. Azarovs GNAU Tax Nazi. Therefore, refusing negotiations with Mr. Kuchma and, at the same time, negotiating with Mr. Azarov is close in meaning to refusing negotiations with Hitler but starting negotiations with Himmler instead. On the other hand, the Ukrainians realize that the U.S. Government has to negotiate with such types of Kuchmas Administration anyway. Contrary to the period of Mr. Viktor Juschenko serving as Prime Minister, there are simply nobody else in Ukraines Government.

However, we believe that the U.S.-Ukraine negotiations cannot proceed without such progress as freeing Kuchmas tens of prisoners of conscience in Ukraine. These include opposition activists to Kuchmas regime, who are imprisoned with long-term sentences allegedly for organization of mass disobedience, which was a mere street demonstration. These prisoners also include the relatives of Ms. Julia Tymoshenko, who are under endless investigation and custody only because they are the relatives of a prominent political leader. Finally, the prisoners of conscience include Mr. Boris Feldman, who was incarcerated for a fabricated crime.

The U.S. diplomats and political leaders should be aware of a lawsuit for libel against Mr. Azarov initiated my Major Mykola Melnychnko. The case has been initiated after the then-director of GNAU Mr. Azarov stated at a press conference that the tapes recorded by Major Melnychenko were fabricated by the order of imprisoned Mr. Boris Feldman. The court, though dependent upon Mr. Kuchmas Administration for public funds, has a rare chance to prove that Major Melnychenkos tapes were not fabricated. The same court can also review the evidence of many alleged crimes orchestrated and prepared by Kuchmas Government, including Mr. Azarov. The accusing side will also be able to present hard evidence that, according to Melnychenkos tapes, Mr. Azarov is a convinced anti-Semite, who initiated the extradition of a Jewish family by religion, where he lusted to seize for himself, and he did.

The next step in Mr. Azarovs scale of anti-Semitism can only be shooting Jews on the street. Mr. Azarov has a lawful and honorable opportunity to clear himself from allegations. However, the current Kuchmas Vice Prime Minister does not honor the court by non-appearance to its hearings. What could be a higher degree of dishonoring the Law?

Based on the stated facts, we urge the U.S. Government to expel Mykola Azarov from negotiating on behalf of Ukraine and her people. The international community should condemn Kuchmas Administration and his government, just as they are condemned at home.

// // // URL: http://maidan.org.ua/static/mai/1043615069.html

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