Kyiv, 10 April, 2014 – David Kramer, President of the International Non-governmental Organization Freedom House, expects immediate tough sanctions against Russia on behalf of EU and the US. “Russia is more integrated into the world’s economy than ever before, which means it’s much more vulnerable. We understand that sanctions will not turn Russia into the democratic country, but the point is to make Kremlin rethink their strategy”, said Mr. Kramer at the press-briefing, organized by the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center with the assistance of Arseniy Yatsenyuk “Open Ukraine” Foundation within the 7th Kyiv Security Forum.
“I regret the fact that it took the terrible loss of lives of Ukrainians before the West decided on sanctions against the RF. I hope we don’t wait until there is further bloodshed, we need to do something to prevent it, not to react to it”, says Mr. Kramer.
The President of one of the top international NGOs defending human rights believes that “Russian actions in Crimea are the biggest full frontal assault on human rights since the times of the Cold War”. He assured that the excuse for the Russian military to enter Ukrainian territory was completely fabricated, and the role of the far right politics in Ukraine has been largely exaggerated: “Russian propaganda is trying to paint everything into fascist colors. I can say for sure that there was no threat to Russian-speakers in Crimea or elsewhere in Ukraine… Support of the far right in Ukraine is extremely low, while tolerance is very high.”
Mr. Kramer noted that raising the issue of federalization is Russia’s attempt to postpone the Presidential elections in Ukraine planned for May 25th: “It’s not a secret to anybody that Russia does not care about Ukraine’s welfare and interests. All their actions are aimed at weakening Ukraine, so that EU loses interest in it and Mr. Putin has his way here. Federalization of Ukraine, proposed by Mr. Putin, would serve this goal and destabilize the current situation in the country”.