YALTA, Ukraine — A top U.S. official says Ukraine is failing its test on democracy in the run up to parliamentary elections, citing the jailing of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and shrinking media freedoms.
The jailing of Tymoshenko,
the country’s top opposition leader and heroine of the 2004 Orange
Revolution, has strained Ukraine’s relations with the West. The European
Union has frozen a key cooperation deal with Kiev.
the U.S. assistant deputy secretary of state for democracy, human rights
and labor, said Saturday the election set for October has been
compromised by jailing of Tymoshenko and another top opposition leader.
Melia said Ukraine “failed the test today.”
Tymoshenko has spent
over a year in jail, after being convicted of abuse of office charges
she rejects and describes as political.