ISSN 2330-717X

Tymoshenko Trial Could Jeopardise EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Say MEPs

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The European Parliament deplores the conviction of Ukrainian former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko as a violation of human rights and an abuse of the judiciary designed to silence Ukraine’s leading opposition politician, in a resolution passed on Thursday.

A failure to review former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s conviction will jeopardise the prospects of concluding and ratifying an EU-Ukraine association agreement, MEPs say in a resolution passed by a show of hands.

The resolution urges the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that legal proceedings in any appeal against Ms Tymoshenko’s conviction or in trials of other members of the former government are fair, transparent and impartial. MEPs insist that Ms Tymoshenko should be allowed to participate fully in the political process both now and in the forthcoming elections in Ukraine.

MEPs fear that the Tymoshenko trial is at odds with Ukraine’s proclaimed commitment to democracy and European values, and voice concern at signs of decline in democratic freedoms, and the possible use of state institutions for partisan purposes and political revenge. MEPs are also alarmed by reports about the deterioration of media freedom and pluralism in Ukraine.

Parliament welcomes the preliminary agreement to conclude a deep and comprehensive EU-Ukraine free trade agreement, which, it says, could be a basis for finalising talks on an association agreement.

MEPs believe that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s recently-postponed visit to Brussels could have helped to achieve the progress needed to remove technical and political obstacles to initialling an association agreement. Parliament therefore urges the Council and Commission to reschedule the meeting so that it takes place before the planned EU-Ukraine Summit in December 2011.

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