Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

MEPs demand recognition of Ukraine 'genocide'

EUPolitix.com - 7 March 2007

MEPs are calling on the international community to recognise the 1930s great famine in Ukraine as Soviet-enforced genocide.

A small number of nations have already recognised the famine as genocide and three deputies have tabled a written declaration calling for the international community to follow suit.

The three are Konrad Szymanski, a Polish member of the UEN group, UK Conservative Charles Tannock and Polish Socialist deputy Marek Siwiec.

A parliamentary declaration has to be supported by at least 50 per cent of MEPs before it can go to the full plenary to become a formal parliamentary resolution.

Siwiec said MEPs were currently being canvassed for their support and he was hopeful that it would receive the necessary backing.

He said the reason he and his colleagues had decided to act now was because they felt that international recognition for the alleged genocide was “long overdue.”

“This is not directed at Russia but there can be no doubt that this was a Soviet-enforced crime against Ukraine.”

An estimated 10 Million Ukrainians starved to death in 1932-33 as Soviet leader Joseph Stalin stripped them of their produce in a disastrous forced farm collectivisation campaign.

The true scale of the disaster was concealed by the USSR and only came to light after Ukrainian independence in 1991.

A week long exhibition covering the famine, organised by the Ukranian mission to the EU, will run in the European parliament from March 26.

Russia firmly opposes the designation of the famine as genocide.