Staunton, May 30 – Today, the Verkhovna Rada called on the international community to impose new sanctions against the Russian Federation for its violation of the rights of the indigenous peoples in the Russian Federation. It had earlier urged sanctions for Moscow’s violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatars and others in Russian-occupied portions of Ukraine.
Hanna Hopko, the chairman of the parliament’s foreign relations committee who has pushed for such a resolution since last year (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2018/12/kyiv-to-focus-attention-on-moscows.html and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/04/non-russians-inside-russia-more.html), announced its approval (facebook.com/hanna.hopko/posts/10157408376287244).
The resolution, which enjoyed the support of all factions except the Opposition Bloc, specifies that Moscow deserves condemnation and sanctions because of its persecution a list of activists, its moves against non-Russian languages, and its ban on non-Russian political parties thus making it far harder for those nations to promote their interests.
The measure urges the governments of the world to “use all possible types of sanctions against Russian Federation government officials who have been involved in the persecution of representatives of indigenous peoples for their convictions and activities to defend the rights of indigenous peoples.”
Further, it calls on these governments “to use all possible international political-diplomatic and sanctions mechanisms on the Russian Federation with the goal of restoring freedom of speech, conscience, and peaceful assembly.”
Ukraine has been a leader in giving asylum to non-Russian activists and bloggers who have suffered repression in the Russian Federation. This resolution is thus a logical next step and a reflection of the growing understanding in Kyiv that the non-Russians are potentially its most important allies within the Russian population.