This defiance of democratic standards should not be ignored. The right path for the European Union and Ukraine’s Western friends is to spurn President Viktor Yanukovych’s insincere attempts for closer ties and continue the freeze on International Monetary Fund loans while keeping dialogue open.

While visiting Poland on Nov. 15, Yanukovych rebuffed entreaties by German President Christian Wulff and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski to backtrack in the political persecution under way in Ukraine, not only against Tymoshenko, but also against leading members of the former government who continue to languish in jail.

Parliament on Nov. 15 rejected a bid to change the Soviet-era abuse-of-office law that Tymoshenko was found guilty of breaking.

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