Concern over new charges against prominent opposition figures


Aleksander Kwaśniewski

The new criminal investigations against opposition MPs Serhiy Vlasenko and Hryrory Nemyrya damage relations between Ukraine and the EU, former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski said on Friday in Davos. 

Speaking at the Ukrainian lunch organized by the Viktor Pinchuk Fund, Mr Kwaśniewski added:

“I know that the judicial system and Prosecutor’s Office in Ukraine are absolutely independent. However if I was a Ukrainian politician, I would be very angry over such independence in the cases of Yulia Tymoshenko, Vlasenko, Nemyrya since that leads to very big problems which have to be resolved in the coming months and years”

“You need to get rid of these political mistakes, they aren’t necessary.  The majority of such things can be simply avoided if you want to chose the best strategy – association with the EU”.

President Yanukovych is at Davos but chose to not attend the Ukrainian lunch.  Many analysts have suggested that this was to avoid questions regarding the prosecutions of Tymoshenko, Lutsenko, these new cases and the whole issue of selective justice. 

Serhiy Vlasenko, MP and imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s main lawyer, stated on Monday that he is under criminal investigation.  He believes that he may be arrested in three weeks and said that the Verkhovna Rada would be asked to authorize the arrest in the near future.   All charges appear to be linked with a messy divorce, and the fact that the charges are criminal has aroused considerable concern.  

Hryhory Nemyrya was Deputy Prime Minister under Yulia Tymoshenko and has been active in speaking for her and the opposition abroad under the present regime.  A criminal case against him means that he is precluded from travelling outside the country.  

One extremely worrying feature is that the charges appear to be based on material which may or may not be bona fide now posted on a site on the Internet.  See for example, )

Information about the lunch reported here

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