Pressure on Ukraine gov’t grows over Tymoshenko

Pressure on Ukraine gov’t grows over Tymoshenko

Pressure on Ukraine gov’t grows over Tymoshenko

A handout picture release on April 27 and taken on April 25, 2012, shows jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko showing what she called a bruise on her stomach. AFP Photo

Germany’s foreign minister underscored yesterday that concerns over Ukraine’s jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko could block ratification of a political and trade deal between the EU and Ukraine.

Referring to the association agreement, Guido Westerwelle said on ZDF public television: “We Germans say it cannot be ratified if conditions for the rule of law are not also clearly kept to.” In a separate interview with mass-circulation newspaper Bild, Westerwelle also said that Ukraine, as a member of the Council of Europe, was obliged to meet minimum standards on human rights.

Criticism from NATO

President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Karl A. Lamers, also criticized Ukraine. “I am shocked by the brutal and degrading treatment of Ms Tymoshenko. There should be no room for such unacceptable acts in Ukraine.” Lamers also expressed his deep concern at Tymoshenko’s deteriorating health condition.
“I urge President Viktor Yanukovich to release Ms Tymoshenko without any further delay and to allow her, as requested by Ms Tymoshenko, to receive the necessary medical treatment abroad.”

The United States also pressed Ukraine to free Tymoshenko. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington was “deeply concerned by the treatment” of the 2004 Orange Revolution leader and pressed for the release of her and “other members of her former government.”