Grybauskaite: Association Agreement linked with Tymoshenko and Lutsenko
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite considers the imprisonment of the leaders of Ukrainian opposition parties, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and ex-Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko, to be politically motivated. She has warned President Yanukovych that dragging out resolution of this situation can harm the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. She said that the EU would not dictate how the problem was to be solved however putting the opposition in prison was not a proper thing to do and “we are therefore turning to those in power and reminding them that further procrastination in resolving specifically these politically motivated cases could cause further delay in signing this agreement”. President Grybauskaite was speaking at a joint press conference with Viktor Yanukovych in Vilnius on Wednesday.
President Yanukovych said that “Ukraine cannot fail to react to criticism addressed at Ukraine regarding the arrest of Y. Tymoshenko and Y. Lutsenko and the EU’s demand for their release”. He claimed that the issue was “very painful for us”, but that they needed time and that all must be done within the framework of current legislation.
The Lithuanian President said clearly that the signing of the agreement depended on Ukraine, and reminded President Yanukovych that the EU had clearly set out the main directions of work for Ukraine which must be fulfilled and accelerated for European integration.