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You're reading: US expert: US Senate resolution on Ukraine expresses position of only those who lobbied for it

The resolution on Ukraine passed by the United States Senate recently is not obligatory and does not oblige the Senate to take any action, Executive Director of the American Institute in Ukraine Anthony T. Salvia has said.

“Recently, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution, which did not draw
special attention of the U.S. media… It is commonly known that the
United States Senate passes many resolutions on various issues. The U.S.
really take leading positions in many aspects, so it is quite natural
that politicians and senators express their opinions on various issues
related to various parts of the world. This resolution is not an
exceptional case – it is not obligatory and its does not oblige the
Senate to take any action, it’s just an expression of the opinion of
those people that lobbied for it in the Senate,” the expert said in an
interview with Interfax-Ukraine.

He also said that the U.S. officials are still concerned about the situation with former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko.

“Of course, politicians should be held to account, but this practice
should not have a selective character, and the legislation should be
applied equally to everyone, and the justice system should not be
politicized. At the same time, it does not mean that the person is not
guilty,” he said.

According to Salvia, all components and details should be taken into
account to avoid the impression that “people that draft such resolutions
ignore them [components and details].”

As reported, on September 22, Serhiy Vlasenko, the defense lawyer of
former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko, wrote on his page in Facebook
that the U.S. Senate had unanimously passed a resolution on Ukraine
with a call for the immediate release of Tymoshenko and other political
prisoners. The resolution also calls for the imposition of a visa ban
against all officials responsible for Tymoshenko’s imprisonment.

In turn, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine stated that it did not consider it necessary to comment on the resolution.

“It is difficult to take seriously a document that was passed last
night according to a procedure that, with due diplomatic restraint,
could be described as at least doubtful. What kind of motivation did the
authors of the Yulia Tymoshenko resolution have while trying to ignore
by all possible means the protests of other senators against the
resolution, and with what aim did they quickly make editorial amendments
to it? They also proposed the Senate to pass the document as a new
document after 0300, several minutes before the closure of the session
of Congress, when less than five members of the upper house of the U.S.
parliament were present in the sitting hall,” it said.

An article in the Segodnya daily newspaper reads that the Senate vote
on the resolution was flawed. To pass a resolution, the majority needs
to receive confirmation from the minority that no one opposes the
resolution, as well as receive approval from the Senate speaker. Thus,
at least one senator has to have opposed the resolution to prevent its
adoption by the Senate.

The newspaper cited a source in Ukraine’s Embassy in the U.S. as
saying that the resolution was put on the agenda of the Senate in the
daytime. However, one senator opposed it, and said that he did not agree
with the text of the document.

“Usually this would mean that it [the resolution] should be removed
from the agenda. But the lobbyists of the Ukrainian opposition appeared
to be slier – they removed from the agenda the old text of the
resolution, made technical amendments to it and submitted it for
consideration under the same number on the same day. Actually, the did
it at night, and when they asked the senators whether anyone opposed the
resolution it was at 0300 on the night from Friday to Saturday, with
only a few minutes left until the end of the session, the opposing
senator had left by that time, and none of the four senators present
opposed it. The resolution was approved,” reads the newspaper.

The American Institute in Ukraine (AIU) is a privately funded U.S.
nonprofit organization. The AIU’s purpose is to address questions
relating to U.S. policy toward Ukraine, particularly with respect to
security issues such as Ukraine’s possible accession as a member state
of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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