Ukraine: Parliament holds Tymoshenko's fate in its hands

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Ukraine: Parliament holds Tymoshenko's fate in its hands

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In the biggest step yet towards the release of former opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian president has moved responsibility for a potential new draft law onto parliament’s shoulders.

He had originally maintained that he could not overrule the court that jailed her in 2011 for abuse of office.

Tymoshenko suffers from back problems, but fears treatment in Ukraine. The EU has supported her decision, but she has been denied specialist medical care in Berlin, because Ukrainian law does not usually allow prisoners out for treatment.

However President Viktor Yanukovich has agreed to sign a draft law enabling Tymonshenko to be treated abroad, if parliament agrees on this course of action.

According to Maria Korenyuk, our euronews correspondent in Kiev: “There is only one month left for Ukraine to resolve the Tymoshenko issue. A European Parliament monitoring mission will present its report on selective justice in Ukraine by mid-November.”

Tymoshenko’s daughter hopes that her mother will be allowed to go to Berlin before the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU is signed on November 19.

Political experts believe that if the president signs the draft law, but does not pardon Tymoshenko, it will serve as a negative signal for the EU ahead of the scheduled signing of the Association Agreement.