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Parubiy asks European Parliament to reconsider its decision on Bandera

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Feb. 26, 2010, 5:57 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine
Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense Bloc MP Andriy Parubiy has asked the European Parliament to reconsider its negative reaction to former Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko's decision to award the leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, Stepan Bandera, the title of Hero of Ukraine. "I'm confident that the European Parliament's decision should be reviewed. So I've addressed the MEPs with a letter stating the facts about Bandera, and I proposed that they review their decision," he said in a comment released on Friday.

Parubiy said that the European Parliament's decision was largely the result of the powerful "Gazprom" lobby of Russia among European politicians.

He also said that that many MEPs had been misinformed about Bandera.

"All people interested in history know that Stepan Bandera was in a German concentration camp during the Second World War, while his brothers were shot dead by the Nazis. In addition, Ukrainians were the first to offer armed resistance to the German occupation in Transcarpathian Ukraine. The Nuremberg process didn't name the OUN-UPA as Nazis or collaborators," Parubiy said.

He expressed regret that these facts were currently being ignored, while "the political situation" had been taken to the forefront.

Parubiy said that the European Parliament's decision would disappoint patriotically-minded Ukrainians. He also warned that similar cases could push them away from Euro-integration process and put them "into Russia's embrace."

As reported, the European Parliament, in its resolution passed on February 25, said that it "deeply deplores the decision by the outgoing President of Ukraine, Viktor Yuschenko, to posthumously award Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), which collaborated with Nazi Germany, the title of 'National Hero of Ukraine.'" In this regard, the European Parliament expressed hope that "the new Ukrainian leadership will reconsider such decisions and will maintain its commitment to European values."

Yushchenko awarded Bandera the title of Hero of Ukraine on Jan. 22, 2010.
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