Czech President cancels Ukraine visit
PRAGUE - Agence France-Presse
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko shows what she claims an injury in the Kachanivska prison in Kharkiv. REUTERS photoCzech President Vaclav Klaus has cancelled a visit to Ukraine for regional talks because of concern about the jailing of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, a presidential spokesman said Monday.
"There are several reasons, but this one is essential," Radim Ochvat told the Lidove Noviny daily.
Contacted by telephone by AFP, Ochvat confirmed Klaus's decision, but refused to provide further details.
Klaus was to take part in a May 11-12 meeting of Central European presidents in Ukraine's Black Sea resort of Yalta.
On Thursday, German President Joachim Gauck canceled his attendance, after Kiev refused to allow ailing Tymoshenko to seek medical treatment in Germany.
The presidents of Austria, Heinz Fischer, and Slovenia, Danilo Turk have also canceed their planned trip to Yalta, according to Lidove Noviny.
Tymoshenko, 51, has been incarcerated since August 2011, and was sentenced in October to seven years in prison for abuse of power. She alleges her imprisonment is a personal vendetta by President Viktor Yanukovich, elected in 2010, designed to eliminate her as his main political opponent.
Tymoshenko began a hunger strike on April 20, claiming to have bean beaten in prison.
The European Union has called on Kiev to provide "urgent clarification" on of Tymoshenko's situation.
Relations between EU hopeful Ukraine and the bloc of 27 have faltered since her jailing.