Merkel to decide on Euro boycott in Ukraine at last minute
(BERLIN) - German chancellor Angela Merkel said she will decide whether to attend Euro football games in Ukraine at the last minute, amid growing boycotts over the treatment of jailed former premier Yulia Tymoshenko.
"I always decide on such things at short notice," she told the regional newspaper Koelner Stadt Anzeiger in its Thursday edition, adding that state of law in Ukraine was a "cause for concern".
Ukraine has come under intense pressure amid mounting concern for the 2004 Orange Revolution leader, who was jailed for seven years in October in a highly controversial case that immediately damaged Kiev's ties with the European Union.
Tymoshenko, 51, launched a hunger strike on April 20 to protest an alleged beating she received in prison.
Merkel stressed that it is important "to do everything" for Tymoshenko to "receive the appropriate treatment for her illness quickly."
German media had earlier reported that the chancellor is preparing to instruct her ministers to stay away from the football tournament.
The Austrian government had said Wednesday it would boycott all Euro 2012 football matches in Ukraine after the country's chancellor already announced a similar move.
European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has "no intention" of travelling to Ukraine, his office has said, following a similar decision by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding.
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