Letter from Europe

Scanned image of the letter,
from the website of the 
Ukrainian Association of Chernobyl
You can only discuss the matter of Chernobyl to a certain point before the political aspect becomes inevitable. 

Ukraine's Chernobyl victims are already more than familiar with the fact that their own government will not come to their aid, and have thus began to turn elsewhere in hope of gaining support. 

On the 22nd of October this year, when the outlook on a, much discussed and debated, future cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union were still relatively bright, Volodimyr Proskurin and Natalya Tselovalnichenko from the Ukrainian Association of Chernobyl Veterans wrote an eight pages long letter to the EU Delegation of Ukraine in which they explained the worsened situation of the victims of Chernobyl, [i.e the liquidators, soldiers and others who are incident to the low pension issued by the government] which was followed by an almost direct plea to the European Court of Human Rights to take on their case against the Ukrainian government, as they reckon the situation to only become worse.  

"We ask for actions to be taken against the Ukrainian Government in order to restore the legal order of Ukraine, in respect of the people who are suffering from the Chernobyl disaster, according to the Law of Ukraine." wrote Proskurin and Tselovalnichenko, pointing to the decreasing support from the government, who are not fulfilling their part or even acting according to Ukrainian law. 

Volodimyr Proskurin and Natalya Tselovalnichenko received a reply to their proposal today, written by delegator  Jan Tombinski. The response to a letter written in the official language of Ukraine (which is Ukrainian, naturally) came in English and read such as follows:

"Dear Mr. Proskurin 
Dear Ms. Tselovalnichenko 

Thank you for your letter to the EU Delegation to Ukraine in which you raised the issue of the problems with respect of social rights of person who suffered from the Chernobyl disaster. We have taken note of your information and regret about the difficult situation of those people.
Please be informed that the European Union has repeatedly and regularly asked the Ukrainian side to fulfill ECHR judgements. 

The EU has always and will continue to keep the respect of human rights and the rule of law in the focus of its relations with Ukraine. The implementation of the judicial reform aimed to bring the legal framework and functioning of the judicial system of Ukraine to European standards has been among EU's key conditions for deepening its relations with Ukraine, namely for the signing of the Association Agreement. Therefore Ukraine's further integration with the EU would certainly improve the situation in many spheres including protection of the rights of Ukrainians within the national justice system. 

Yours faithfully, 
Jan Tombinski"

What a splendid example of bureaucracy. And with another dash of "healthy sarcasm" I would like to point out the obvious, which is how Jan Tombinski more or less underlines that if only Ukraine's relationship with the European union deepens, there may eventually be support to expect in the future. However, he doesn't seem to have done his homework properly. Ukraine is a member state of the European Council since 1995 and thus entitled to approach the European Court of Human Rights with proposals. 

As I do not know anything about Mr. Tombinski's motives supporting his letter, I will refrain from trying to explain them, but indeed his writings can be interpreted in many different ways - none of them to the favor to the EU Delegation of Ukraine.

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