U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) speaks to members of the media as Senate Minority Whip Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) (R) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) (L) listen at the U.S. Capitol September 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans had a weekly policy committee luncheon meeting earlier.
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has unanimously passed a resolution drafted by U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (Republicans), a member of the Committee, and by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (Democrats), which calls for the unconditional release of political prisoner and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
The resolution condemns the selective and politically motivated prosecution and imprisonment of Tymoshenko and other Orange Revolution leaders, reads a statement posted on the Web site of Sen. Inhofe.
According to the document, the Senate calls on the State Department and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) "to apply unified multilateral diplomatic pressure on President [of Ukraine Viktor] Yanukovych to release Tymoshenko."
In addition, the resolution calls on the State Department to institute a visa ban against those responsible for the imprisonment and mistreatment of the Ukrainian ex-premier.
"This resolution sends a strong and unmistakable message to the Ukrainian government: selective prosecution of political opponents has no place in the community of democracies. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko should be released immediately," the Web site quoted Durbin as saying.
"This resolution adds to the international scrutiny and protests over the abuses currently taking place in the Ukraine while affirming the Senate's unwavering support for Tymoshenko and political prisoners everywhere," the statement posted on the Web site reads.