WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) released the following statement on yesterday’s passage of anti-protest laws by the Ukrainian parliament controlled by President Yanukovych:

We are troubled that the Ukrainian parliament controlled by President Yanukovych enacted legislation yesterday that clearly infringes upon the Ukrainian people’s right to protest peacefully and curtails their freedom of speech. This appears to be the latest attempt to suppress the Maidan demonstrations in Kyiv without dialogue or compromise. The unconventional adoption of this legislation threatens the credibility of Ukraine’s parliament and other democratic institutions, and calls into question the government’s commitment to meeting the democratic aspirations of its people.

Such measures also contradict the Ukrainian government’s stated aspirations to join the European Union and could likely deepen Ukraine’s political crisis. If Ukraine’s leaders are truly committed to the path of European integration and to meeting the demands of its people, the government must ensure that any legislation meets democratic standards and protects fundamental freedoms.