Halifax International Security Forum Calls on Ukraine to Halt Political Prosecutions

Mr. Petro Poroshenko speaks at a Halifax Chat at the 2019 Halifax International Security Forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington DC – The Halifax International Security Forum today called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to end his prosecution of predecessor Petro Poroshenko.

“President Zelensky should know that supporters of Ukraine’s democratic and economic development are under no illusions about the political motivations behind attempts to jail former President Poroshenko,” said Peter Van Praagh, President of Halifax International Security Forum.

Poroshenko, who stepped down as President of Ukraine after elections last year, has faced more than a dozen charges laid by prosecutors acting on President Zelensky’s behalf. He faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

“Ukraine has made many sacrifices en route to its democratic and prosperous future and President Zelensky should understand that attempts to jail political opponents have no place in a country that aspires to join the community of civilized nations,” Van Praagh said.

“Should former president Poroshenko be imprisoned, Ukraine risks far reaching consequences in its relationships with democratic governments and institutions and would also raise questions as to why Western nations should continue to offer economic and financial assistance to a country that has abandoned the rule of law,” Van Praagh said.

Van Praagh concluded, “In the best interests of Ukraine’s democratic future, President Zelensky should call an immediate halt to all proceedings against Mr. Poroshenko.”

Halifax International Security Forum is a non-partisan, non-profit, non-governmental organization that runs North America’s leading foreign affairs and defense conference. Its mission is to strengthen strategic cooperation among the world’s democracies. The conference will take place this November 20-22.

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