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You're reading: European People’s Party: ‘Tymoshenko arrest brings Ukraine one step closer to Soviet-style authoritarianism’

Wilfried Martens, president of the European People's Party, condemned the arrest of Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, describing it as a shift by President Viktor Yanukovych’s administration towards ‘Soviet-style authoritarianism.’

“I am not surprised that today the court ordered Yulia Tymoshenko to be placed under arrest. For months now, it has been blatantly obvious that President Viktor] Yanukovych regime is running a politically motivated court case. The motive is clear: the removal of the main obstacle for returning to Soviet-style authoritarianism. Today Ukraine has moved one step closer,” Martens said in an August 5 statement published on the party’s www.epp.eu website.

“I call on Viktor Yanukovych to put an immediate end to this sham – Europe’s patience has reached its limit,” President Martens added.

The Batkivshchyna party of Tymoshenko, a two-time prime minister, is an observer member party of the European People’s Party, the largest and most influential cross-border European political party. The centre right party currently includes 75 member-parties from 39 countries, the Presidents of the European Commission, European Council, and European Parliament, 17 EU and 6 non-EU heads of state and government, 13 members of the European Commission and the largest Group in the European Parliament, according to the statement.

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