MEPs deplore 7-year jail term imposed on Yulia Tymoshenko
The seven-year jail sentence imposed on Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Tuesday was severely criticised by Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs at a meeting with Ukranian foreign minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko in Brussels the same day.
Tuesday’s meeting with the Ukranian foreign minister, originally planned to discuss EU-Ukraine political, economic and trade relations, was eventually dominated by the sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko on the same day.
All MEPs expressed their dissatisfaction and disappointment over today’s ruling, and many of them condemned the verdict as a clear violation of the rule of law. They underlined the general situation of the rule of law had deteriorated dramatically in Ukraine, despite promising progress in other fields, such as economic and trade cooperation.
Several MEPs suggested that negotations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement should be suspended in response to the verdict.
Parliament’s recommendations on the EU-Ukraine association talks are currently under discussion in the Foreign Affairs and International Trade committees.
On 9 June 2011, Parliament adopted a resolution on the treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko and other members of the former Ukranian government. MEPs called Ukraine on to ensure the utmost transparency in investigations, prosecutions and trials, and warned against any use of criminal law as a tool to achieve political ends.