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Janice Atkinson’s comments in Strasbourg were criticised by the European People’s Party and the Socialists and Democrats, the two largest political groups in the Parliament.
UKIP “unusually” voted for an amendment to a resolution on Ukraine because it calls for the repeal of the EU-Ukraine association agreement, she said.
A majority of MEPs called for the ratification of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement by all member states before the May Eastern Partnership summit in Riga in a resolution condemning Russia, and potentially backing stronger sanctions against it.
“The EU has no right to interfere in Ukraine,” Atkinson, MEP for South East of England, said. “It shook a stick at the Russian bear and it reacted and this led to brave young people’s deaths directly encouraged by my colleagues in here [the Parliament].”
EurActiv contacted UKIP’s spokesman Herman Kelly in Brussels after Atkinson’s comments.
He said, “MEPs such as ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt, went to Kyiv making very provocative speeches. MEPs and people like American John McCain must take responsibility for the reaction they caused.”
Verhofstadt travelled to Maiden Square in Kyiv and addressed anti-government protestors there in February 2014. Ukrainian police snipers later shot protestors before then-president, the Russia-backed Viktor Yanukovich, fled Kyiv later that month. As the Ukraine Crisis escalated, Russia annexed Crimea.
Verhofstadt was unable to comment when contacted by EurActiv. But both the EPP and S&D criticised Atkinson’s comments.
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