By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Ukrainian President Vitkor Yanukovych has ruled out the idea of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko being released for treatment abroad ahead of next month’s Euro 2012 soccer championships, which Ukraine and Poland are hosting.
His remarks come as Germany has offered to provide medical care to the ailing ex-premier and again hinted at a possible boycott by Chancellor Angela Merkel of matches played in Ukraine once the tournament kicks off in co-host Poland on June 8.
Yanukovych told Ukrainian television that the country’s laws prevented Tymoshenko receiving treatment during her sentence.
He added that pro-government deputies were firmly against the idea of changing those laws.
The 51-year-old Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years in October on abuse of power charges that she claimed were a part of Yanukovych’s vendetta against her.
A number of Western governments and the European Union have criticized the legal proceedings targeting Tymoshenko, a heroine of Ukraine’s 2004-05 Orange Revolution, and her allies.
A Ukrainian court opened a fresh trial for alleged tax crimes against Tymoshenko in early April.