Elmar Brok, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, strongly urges a dialog between Ukraine's political forces. It is the only way for the country to get closer to Europe, he told DW.
Deutsche Welle: Mr. Brok, security forces violently attacked protesters on the Maidan, Kyiv's central square, while EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was in Kyiv. What do you say about that?
Elmar Brok: That shows President Viktor Yanukovych's lack of reliability. For weeks and months we've seen now how he goes back on his promises. I find it unbearable that someone is in negotiations to put together a round table discussion, while at the same time using violence against those who are supposed to be part of that round table.
Under these conditions, can you still assume that a dialog with Yanukovych is happening?
We have to attempt to get a dialog going now, because that's the way to maybe still reach an opening of Ukraine and to give the people there a chance. But it's clear, of course, that we are uncomfortable about it. We don't have any faith in President Yanukovych still looking for a peaceful solution or even wanting to open his country to Europe.
Many people say that now would be the right time to impose sanctions on the Ukrainian president and certain cabinet members. What is your opinion on that?
If a dialog doesn't come to pass, if a round table isn't a possible way to reach a solution, then we should indeed consider putting a travel ban on those members of police, the federal prosecutor's office and the judiciary who used violence against peaceful protesters. We also have to think about whether we should make it clear to supporters of this policy, to oligarchs, that their bank accounts in Europe could be blocked.
For how much longer will the EU try to enter into a dialog with Yanukovich?
We shouldn't reflect about the extent of our patience publicly, that would only do damage. We should definitely make use of all options to prevent another iron curtain from going down. The people in Ukraine who are looking to Europe mustn't lose their hope.
Elmar Brok (CDU) is head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament.