The European Union has indefinitely postponed an invitation to Ukraine’s president over the jailing last week of the country’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on abuse of power charges.
Viktor Yanukovych was due in Brussels on Thursday for talks with the presidents of the EU and the European Commission. That has now been postponed until “conditions are more favourable” according to an EU source.
Meanwhile a debate on amending the abuse of power law has paralysed Ukraine’s parliament, with the opposition calling for it to be disolved.
But talking to our correspondant Sergio Cantone, President Yanukovych stood firm.
“The issue of Tymoshenko is very contradictory, because there are a lot of different breaches of the law,” he said.
“On the one hand the matter which we are dicussing lies in the field of law-and-politics.
“But on the other hand this is a purely criminal case where taxes weren’t being paid, where the budget was losing out where gas was being imported and sold to consumers and the state was suffering great losses.”
A section of the public continues to support Tymoshenko and mounted a protest outside the court where her trial was held.
Russia’s President Dimitry Medvedev was also expected to pressure Yanukovych in a meeting in Donetsk today.