Foreign Affairs Ministry issues statement on Tymoshenko case

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Oct. 11, 2011, 4:43 p.m. |
Editor’s Note: The following is a statement issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ukraine as a response to international criticism to the Oct. 11 conviction of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Ukraine follows closely European Union discussions on the development of internal political situation in our country and the progress in negotiations on the association agreement. In this regard, we would like to make the following statement.

The ultimate goal of the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU is to continue the process of European unification, launched two decades ago. Hence, it is totally unacceptable to limit the Ukraine-EU relations to the neighborhood status. Guided by this major premise, under the agreement Ukraine has committed itself to the obligations proportionate to those of the EU candidate-countries without receiving appropriate financial support since we see the historic mission of this document in opening a European gate for Ukraine.

We believe that continuation of the enlargement process is crucial for the viability of the EU evolution and its historical perspective. For this reason, Ukraine is interested in the success of the United Europe and is ready to undertake corresponding obligations given that the EU assumes proportionate obligations towards Ukraine. We also underscore that there can be no internal process or event that can undermine this reciprocity since we speak of the strategic perspective of the Ukraine-EU relations.

The Yulia Tymoshenko case is no exception and should not have any negative impact on the conclusion of the association agreement, the process Tymoshenko has publicly supported recently on numerous occasions.

The judgment announced today is within competence of the court. In accordance with the legislation of Ukraine the convicted person and her attorneys have the right to appeal against the court’s decision and defend their legal positions. Ukrainian government within its constitutional powers will do all possible to provide the transparency of this process.

The executive branch does not and will not interfere in this process. The case is in the hands of Ukraine’s judiciary. The parliament of Ukraine can also play its role by amending the Criminal Code of Ukraine and other appropriate pieces of legislation with a view of decriminalizing violations Yulia Tymoshenko was charged with. Relevant amendments have already been submitted to the Verkhovna Rada and are pending consideration by members of parliament.

Ukrainian authorities are willing to cooperate with their foreign partners to reform and strengthen our judiciary but have no right to defy fundamental principles of law and assume functions of the court. It is obvious that neither Ukrainian nor any foreign official has a right to put pressure on the judiciary. It is also true that no court case can be used as an instrument of pressure in the course of negotiations on the Association agreement.

We are ready to continue dialogue with our partners on all issues of mutual interest while today it is high-time to take the historic opportunity, demonstrate commitment and vision for the future of Ukraine and the European continent as a whole, and successfully conclude negotiations on the Association agreement.
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Anonymous Oct. 11, 2011, 4:59 p.m.    

Is this guy living in cuckoo land? Of course the events surrounding Tymoshenko's imprisonment will have a detrimental effect on Ukraine-EU relations and it won't just stop there.

Ukraine will be unable to finalize any international agreements under the current circumstances. The powers that be have underestimated the EU stance in this matter, the EU can not sit back and pretend that all is OK and that this is just a blip in the geo political landscape. It goes far beyond just being one of those issues. Yhis goes to the heart and soul of EU values and EU principles. Teh EU can not afford to let this one slip. It will have no alternative but to place on hold any agreement in Ukraine-EU relations. Ukraine needs the EU more than the EU needs Ukraine. The authorities are filling themselves of they think otherwise.

The economic fall out of todays events will be far reaching and may even threaten the success of Euro2012.

It is hard to belive that Yanukocych and his team are so stupid to realise the problems and his team are so stupid to realise the problems that have unleashed.

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Anonymous Oct. 11, 2011, 5:45 p.m.    

Well said!

This is a shocking verdict and a set back to EU-Ukrainian relations. The EU and USA cannot sit back and watch selective prosecution of the political opposition occur without severe consequences. It is fundamentally undemocratic and should not be tolerated by the world.

It is a shame that Yanukovych's government (there IS NO independent judiciary in Ukraine) has jeopardized the interests of a great people and nation by the series of power-centralizing actions he has taken the last year.

I agree strongly with the opinion written in today's Post authored by the former British foreign minister. I am no great fan of Tymoshenko, who (along with Yushchenko) divided the nation and opened the door for the narrowt Yanukovych victor in the Presidential elections. But to trump up crimes and political banishment to destroy her political career is appalling and fundamentally antidemocratic.

And i hope that the EU takes appropriate actions . Sadly, these will jeoparidize the European aspirations of the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians The government must release her, dismiss the charges or at least decriminalize them, and decide the future of Ukraine at the ballot box, not in some trumped-up show trial by a corrupt judicial system.

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Anonymous Oct. 11, 2011, 7:55 p.m.    

Nothing less than dismissal of the charges and setting Yulia, Lutsenko and the others free without prejudice is acceptable, decriminalization of the charges is NOT sufficient.

Yanukovich will not be President forever. One day, Yulia (or one of her allies) will become President and when Yulia takes revenge Yanukovich will have nobody to blame but himself. In the meantime, he can wave bye-bye to the association and free trade treaty, say bye-bye for any chances of discussions of full EU membership and kiss visa-free travel for all Ukrainian citizens to EU countries farewell. Nice going, Viktor, your supporters will REALLY love you for these results.

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Anonymous Oct. 11, 2011, 5:01 p.m.    

Stop lying, the whole world knows the truth.

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Anonymous Oct. 11, 2011, 5:21 p.m.    

The EU must not give in to these criminals.Sanctions should be applied against them!

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Anonymous Oct. 11, 2011, 6:04 p.m.    

The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine is once again engaging in outright lies and half truths in its effort to cover up for the blunders and miscalculations committed by President Viktor Yanukovych, his Administration and the Party of Regions. First off it is common knowledge that a close advisor of Yanukovych concocted the notion that Yulia Tymoshenko should be put on trial and to be subsequently imprisoned for &quot;improprieties&quot; in the 2009 gas deal with Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation. The Party of Regions then became directly involved by laying the charges via a Verkhovna Rada Committee. This was followed by formal charges being laid from the Prosector General's Office headed by Viktor Pshonka. (NOTE: 4 days after his appointment as Prosecutor General by Viktor Yanukovych Pshonka was quoted as saying on the Inter TV Network that he was &quot;a member of President Viktor Yanukovych's team&quot;. This statement was made despite the fact that the Prosecutor General's Office was supposed to be an apolitical wing of the judiciary. Finally, according to several members of the Supreme Court of Ukraine including its Chief Justice, Vasyl' Onopenko, Viktor Yanukovych has deliberately and directly interfered with all levels of the Ukrainian judiciary and in the process has or has attempted to load them with his own operatives. These types of interference and practices of vengeance against the Opposition cannot be excused in any way whatsoever. It is completely contrary to the code of ethics expected by the EU and as such the practices conducted by the Kyiv Administration should be publicly condemned.

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Anonymous Oct. 11, 2011, 6:21 p.m.    

The first part of the statement is the real statement. When will the Ukraine be offered a path to EU membership. Not matter how long? The answer of course is never. As everyone who pays any attention to the economic positions of Greece,Portugal,Spain and Italy knows. And if the Ukraine is not going to be admitted,and its not, nothing is lost by any number of Show trials. In fact if they get a reaction from the EU so much the better. Because then the alternative 10 billion Euro per annum Russian deal can be presented as the only alternative. Mate in two moves against any defence. Very Clever.

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