Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Nationalist political party leaders say Moscow mayor should be persona non grata

The head of the information security subcommittee of the committee on national security and defense at the Ukrainian parliament, and member of the For Ukraine! Party, Ivan Stoiko (the OU-PSD faction), has called for Moscow Mayor Yuriy Luzhkov to be banned from entering Ukraine.

Stoiko sent a relevant deputy address to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine after Luzhkov again stated that "Sevastopol should be retuned to Russia," according to a posting made on Monday on the Web site of the For Ukraine! Party.

"A high-ranking official from Moscow again allowed himself to make anti-Ukrainian statements. That's why if there is an independent Foreign Ministry and SBU in Ukraine who will protect Ukrainian interests, Luzhkov should again be banned from entering Ukraine," Stoiko said.

The Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists also for Luzhkov to be banned from entering Ukraine.

"We are indignant not so much at the statement by Luzhkov…, as the position of the current government, which allows its Moscow friends to infringe on the territorial integrity of our state," the press service of the congress cited Deputy Congress Head Volodymyr Boreichuk as saying on Monday.

As reported, in May 2008 Luzhkov said that the Soviet naval base, Sevastopol, had never been transferred to Ukraine and Russia should regain control over it.

In the wake of those statements, the Ukrainian Security Service banned Luzhkov from entering Ukraine, while then President Viktor Yuschenko officially condemned his statements in Sevastopol.

Sevastopol and Moscow non-governmental organizations on May 29, 2010 asked Yanukovych to lift the entry ban on Luzhkov at the initiative of the Sevastopol Patriots Association. And all restrictions on the Moscow mayor's entry into Ukraine have been lifted.

On Monday, July 19, at a press conference in Moscow, Luzhkov said he had not changed his opinion about the status of Sevastopol. "I made my statements on Sevastopol consciously and with good reason – my position on the status of Sevastopol hasn't changed and will never change," the mayor of Moscow said.

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