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Irish MP slams West for supporting ‘right-wing, semi-fascist’ forces in Ukraine

Published time: March 31, 2014 13:23
Edited time: April 01, 2014 10:21
Activists of the Right Sector movement and their supporters gather outside the parliament building to demand the immediate resignation of Internal Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov, in Kiev March 27, 2014.  (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)

Activists of the Right Sector movement and their supporters gather outside the parliament building to demand the immediate resignation of Internal Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov, in Kiev March 27, 2014. (Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko)

Irish MP Joe Higgins has rounded on Western nations for supporting “xenophobic, semi-fascist” elements within the Kiev’s new government. He accused the EU of using hardline groups such as the Right Sector to push a neoliberal agenda in Ukraine.

In a question to the Irish Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, Dublin West MP Joe Higgins accused his government of hypocrisy and challenged him to explain his support of the West’s policy on Ukraine. While he maintained Russia should be condemned for its interference in Ukraine, Higgins argued this could not justify “installing a worse neoliberal economic regime” in Kiev.

“Of course, the ordinary Ukrainian people detested the rotten Yanukovich dictatorship, but is that a justification for the EU to collaborate to the hilt with right-wing, semi-fascist, repulsive political forces?” said Higgins, referring to the ultranationalist Ukrainian groups Right Sector and Svoboda.

He went on to suggest the EU was conspiring to use such groups as “cat’s paws to advance its economic agenda in the Ukraine.”

Members of the Right Sector were very active in the violence on Kiev’s Independence Square that led up to the ouster of President Victor Yanukovich. Right Sector fighters used clubs, petrol bombs, and firearms against Ukrainian police and wore Nazi insignia.

Following Crimea’s March 16 referendum, Dmitry Yarosh, the group’s leader, called on his followers to be ready to attack Russian pipelines on Ukrainian territory.

The West imposed economic sanctions on members of the Russian government, MPs and businessmen following the Crimean vote to join the Russian Federation.

Higgins said supporting such sanctions was hypocritical as the Irish government had failed to condemn Western interference in other countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.

“But do you not recognize the hypocrisy of your government and of the EU in the way that you are pushing for sanctions when you uttered not a word against a far more bloody intervention of the EU’s allies in Iraq?” he asked the Taoiseach.

“What sanctions did an Irish government ever support against the US, Blair or Bush and the bloody, criminal invasion of Iraq that has left hundreds of thousands of people dead?”

Prime Minister Kenny responded by denying claims the EU was “meddling” in Ukrainian affairs and claiming that the Ukrainian people were pushing to be closer to Europe.