Ukraine must abolish “selective justice” to associate with EU
VILNIUS, November 29 (RAPSI) – In order to move forward with a planned association deal between the Ukraine and the European Union (EU), Kiev must abolish selective justice, both in general and specifically in Yulia Tymoshenko’s case, an EU source told RIA Novosti on Friday.
Freeing Tymoshenko, who was convicted for exceeding her authority by signing the 2009 gas deal, was an EU precondition for Kiev to be able to sign the agreement. But draft laws that would enable Tymoshenko to leave for medical treatment in Germany were thrown out last week by Ukraine’s parliament.
The Ukrainian government announced November 21 it was halting plans to sign long-anticipated trade and association deals with the EU, because of the damage it would do to trade with Russia. It said it would seek closer cooperation with Russia and the Moscow-led Customs Union, which includes Belarus and Kazakhstan.
The EU blamed unprecedented Russian pressure on Kiev for the Ukrainian decision to suspend the deals, but Moscow denied any strong-arm tactics and accused the EU in turn of engaging in blackmail to pressure Kiev to sign up. Earlier this year, Moscow suspended imports of some Ukrainian goods and warned that preferential trade agreements with Ukraine would end if it signed the EU deals.
Tymoshenko is currently serving a seven-year sentence in a penal colony in Kharkov for abuse of power when she signed a gas deal with Russia in 2009. Since May 2012, she has been undergoing treatment in a hospital in Kharkov.
Tymoshenko has also been charged with financial fraud, which is alleged to have taken place when she was head of United Energy Systems of Ukraine in the 1990s.