Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home Breaking news EU confident of Tymoshenko release

EU confident of Tymoshenko release

— filed under: , ,

(BRUSSELS) - The EU's Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele on Tuesday said he was confident of seeing jailed ex Ukraine premier Yulia Tymoshenko released in the coming weeks.

"We are not far away from Tymoshenko being released for treatment in Germany," Fuele said at a briefing. "It won't be next week, but it will be before the Vilnius summit."

He was referring to the Eastern Partnership summit taking place in the Lithuanian capital at the end of November during which the European Union hopes to strengthen ties with six eastern European states, including Ukraine.

But Tymoshenko's continuing imprisonment has held up the signature of an EU-Ukraine deal to boost trade and political ties as the EU demands Kiev toe the line on basic human rights and democratic principles.

"Seeing all the progress made on all the benchmarks, it will make only sense if the Ukrainians deliver on this remaining benchmark," Fuele added.

The European Parliament meanwhile extended until mid November a 16-month mission also aimed at resolving the row over the Tymoshenko case.

"We hope that we are closer to finding a scenario that is realistic to the three sides -- the Ukraine government, Mrs Tymoshenko and the European Union," said Aleksander Kwasniewski, who was named special envoy of the European Parliament monitoring mission to Ukraine along with Pat Cox.

Kwasniewski and Cox -- former president of the parliament -- are helping Tymoshenko draft a letter to President Viktor Yanukovych asking for a partial pardon enabling her to be taken for treatment to Germany after having spent two years behind bars, said the parliament's president Martin Schulz.

But after 22 visits in the 16-month period, conditions for signature of an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement still needed to be met, said Cox.

During a visit to Ukraine last week, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle reiterated an offer to take in Tymoshenko for medical treatment in Germany.

She was sentenced in October 2011 to seven years in jail on abuse of power charges that the EU fears were politically motivated.

Yanukovych, who last week met with Westerwelle, for the first time indicated a solution to the impasse over Tymoshenko could be in sight, but gave no details.

Tymoshenko, who is currently receiving medical treatment outside her prison in the city of Kharkiv, has backed the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU, insisting her fate should not impede the deal.

In an open letter published last week, Tymoshenko said she was ready to accept the offer of treatment in Germany for the sake of a deal in Vilnius, although she still aimed to return to political life.

"For the sake of the historic and crucial Agreement with the EU, I am ready to accept such an offer," she said.

Document Actions