Top EU official warns of problems if the Tymoshenko situation remains unchanged
According to Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the talks on the EU - Ukraine Association Agreement should continue, but the ratification process could run into problems if the situation with the trial of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko remains unchanged,
She told Interfax Ukraine that for now the EU members were in agreement that the negotiations should continue. They were, however "extremely concerned about the Tymoshenko case, and have warned that if there is no reversal in the approach of Ukrainian authorities, the agreement will face problems in ratification. In order for the agreement to come into force after it is negotiated, in needs to be ratified by the member states and the European Parliament."
"So the message the ministers were sending from their meeting in Sopot is very clear, " Ashton said, and added that this position was clearly voiced during an informal meeting of foreign ministers in Sopot (Poland) on 3 September . Ms Ashton pointed out that any Association Agreement would need to be signed by all EU member states and the European Parliament in order to come into force.