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You're reading: Pulling the bandage off slowly…very slowly

The European Union stated that the trial “did not respect the international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process.” Many European foreign ministries separately blasted the verdict. For example, the Polish foreign ministry noted that “the manner in which the trial is conducted and today’s conviction are the example of politicization of the Ukrainian judiciary,” while Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said “we do not see that European laws, standards and values are respected in this case. We do not see any grounds for this sentence.” (Poland and Sweden are two of the more Ukraine-friendly members of the European Union.)

The White House said “the United States is deeply disappointed with the conviction and sentencing” which along with the prosecution of other opposition figures raise “serious concerns about the Government of Ukraine’s commitment to democracy and rule of law.” And Russia joined in. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the case “highly politicized,” while Putin professed to be “puzzled” by the verdict.

Kyiv thus scored quite a hat trick—it is not often that one manages to evoke such criticism from virtually all the Europeans plus the Americans and the Russians.

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