Gyöngyösi on the situation of Ukrainian refugees and IDP's

 "Madame Chairperson, Distinguished Colleagues,

I would like to sincerely congratulate the rapporteur, Mr Sheridan, for presenting this report. I very much appreciate his efforts to deal with the immense task of assessing the humanitarian situation of the Ukrainian refugees and IDP’s and conducting thorough field observations to draw the necessary conclusions. On the basis of the findings it is clear that the situation in the Ukraine is heading towards a humanitarian crisis, if not catastrophy. The situation could be even worse than discribed, given the fact – as stated in the riport – that figures are often underestimated. Furthermore, the situation is deteriorating and escalating at a worrying speed.

Behind statistical data and figures lie immense personal tragedies. I have had the opportunity to gather personal experience, to see the situation not only through the eyes of the distorting propaganda of either side or that of biased political brokers. I had the opportunity end of last year to visit the city of Donetsk and nearby Gorlovka and to see with my own eyes, I talked with people directly, heard their heartbreaking personal stories. Also, in my country, Hungary, we see an increasing number of escaping ethnic Hungarians from the Western-Ukrainian province of “Zakarpathia”, many of them men between age 20 and 60, fleeing from forced conscriptions by the Ukrainian army.

Until approximately a year ago, ethnic Hungarians in Zakarpathia, ethnic Russians in the Donbas and surely other ethnicities too, such as Ruthenians, Polish or Romanian were loyal citizens of the Ukraine. The Ukrainian state however, lost the trust and faith of its citizens in record-breaking time. Decisions by the Ukrainian governments following the coup d’etat against Yanukovich were not exactly confidence-building: chauvinistic rhetoric aimed at ethnicities, waging war against its own citizens, the withdrawal of the language law, redrawing the electoral constituencies before elections, cutting electricity and water supply, the payment of pensions and benefits, as well as blocking humanitarian aid to certain areas were fuel on fire.

The responses of the international community to the challenges of the Ukrainian crisis were equally mistaken. It is hypocracy from most of my European colleagues here to put the blame on Russia alone for this escalating conflict. We all know, that the US and its European allies in the EU clearly interfered in the internal affairs of the Ukraine at the outset of the conflict, and it still does. Offering the Ukraine the hope of EU and NATO membership is clearly irresponsible and provocative action that leads further away and not closer to a peaceful settlement.

Dear colleagues, what is there to be done to resolve this dire conflict?

Firstly, we need to sit down and talk about the situation in an even handed manner, without bias. An impartial investigation of the tragedies of the past year should be conducted and responsibility should be taken by all sides for their wrongdoings, with special focus on the Odessa killing, the bombing in Donetsk and Mariupol, the mass graves and sexual abuses riported from the Donetsk area, and many more. At this point in time also decentralization, federalization of the Ukraine should be considered whereby ethnic minorities can exercise self-governance in lines with democratic principles.

I once again wish to thank the rapporteur for his work as it clearly brings us closer to a peaceful resolution of the conflict."