Viktor Medvedchuk: Zelenskyy and his team have taken the shortest route leading Ukraine to a national catastrophe
Illegal imposing of sanctions against 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK TV channels, and against a citizen of Ukraine MP Taras Kozak is an act of the authorities’ arbitrariness. Any attempts to justify this decision through the Law of Ukraine “On sanctions” are failing.
The decision of the National Security and Defense Council, enacted by the Presidential Decree of February 2, 2021 No. 43/2021, applied a sanction to resident legal entities in the form of “termination of retranslation services” (paragraph 6 of Annex 2), which is absent in the current Law of Ukraine “On sanctions”, as it was removed from the draft when adopted in the second reading.
Given the importance of this wording for blocking the spread of signals of these TV channels, and hence the presence of an obvious motive and criminal intent, it is an official forgery committed in the National Security and Defense Council.
Other sanctions also contradict the law, as Arseniy Yatsenyuk was saying during the vote on its adoption: “If there is a threat to the national security of the Ukrainian state, the head of the Ukrainian state through the National Security and Defense Council will have the right to impose a number of sanctions, such as the ones introduced by our Western partners – the EU, the US and the G7. “As for the amendments we support in this draft law. The government suggests excluding out of the sanctions list the restriction and suspension of providing postal services, ban and restriction of TV and radio broadcasting, restriction and suspension of activities of media. Same as restriction and ban of production of printed media and other information outlets.
We believe that the courts of Ukraine only can decide on this in accordance with laws and Constitution”. That is the very version that the law was passed in.
During the discussion over the adoption of this law in the Verkhovna Rada, which is recorded in the transcript of the sitting, MP Oleh Zarubinsky addressed the Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk: “Who the sanctions may apply against? You have announced this. However, the table you have distributed among ourselves, besides foreign states, foreign legal entities and so on, mentions “citizens of Ukraine”. I want everyone to hear, obviously, there will be conscious voting then, do citizens of Ukraine remain or this applies to foreigners only?” On this direct question, Yatsenyuk answered that the sanctions apply to foreign states and foreign companies only. Therefore, applying sanctions against Taras Kozak, a citizen of Ukraine, contradicts not only the Constitution, the current legislation, but also the law itself.
In order to destroy TV channels and freedom of speech in Ukraine, Zelenskyy and his team went for a complete and open distortion of the meaning of the Law of Ukraine “On sanctions”, for direct forgery, which is a criminal offense. The victims of this lie were not only journalists of TV channels, but also millions of Ukrainian citizens who were deprived of the right to receive objective information.
Moreover, the broadcast of TV channels was cut off on February 2, and the President’s decree came into force on February 4. And all actions aimed at blocking TV channels during these two days are completely illegal, and their direct executors must be held accountable in the manner prescribed by law, especially since President Zelenskyy himself acknowledged this fact. On February 5, he signed the Decree No. 48/2021, repealing a number of previously issued presidential decrees regulating the procedure for their publication and entry into force. In fact, this is the first, but not the last, recognition by Zelenskyy of his illegal actions.
Citizens of Ukraine and international partners of our country should think not even about the fact that the Constitution of Ukraine is being destroyed, human freedoms and laws of the country are being violated, but about the fact that Ukraine is being ruled by an unprofessional team with dictatorial ambitions aimed at usurping power and destroying rights and freedoms of citizens. This is the shortest path to national catastrophe of all possible.
Chair of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - For Life party