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MEPs ramp up pressure on Ukraine over Tymoshenko

MEPs ramp up pressure on Ukraine over Tymoshenko
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MEPs have issued a fourth resolution condemning the Ukrainian leadership over the jailing of the opposition leader. This time they have ramped up the wording, referring to “political detainnees”. A Dutch MEP will visit her in jail this weekend.

Johannes Cornelis Van Baalen said of the resolution: “It’s more specific, I mean, there is now a deal between Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, and the prime minister of Ukraine. It’s about the Tymochenko case… that it should be a free and fair this trial, that she should be well cared for in the hospital, that she has to receive foreign doctors.”

The Tymoshenko case is casting a shadow over Euro 2012, with some in the Parliament advocating a boycott of the football tournament. But one Polish member, whose country is co-hosting the event, believes diplomatic sanctions would be unfair to ordinary Ukrainians.

Marek Siwiec said: “This championship is a big, big fiesta for Ukrainian people, they are really proud – Polish people too – but they are really proud that finally they have it, so if anybody doesn’t want to go to attend a match it’s fine, but it shouldn’t be presented as a political gesture.”

Tymoshenko’s daughter, Eugenia, who has been on a visit to the Parliament, has been leading the campaign for her release. Euronews asked her if she thought parliamentary elections in October would changes things in Ukraine.

She replied: “ We think that these elections, as my mother also thinks, are going to be the dirtiest so far in Ukrainian history, and now we see already the evidence of it when the opposition candidates in the regions are getting persecuted, arrested, there is an immense pressure on the local authorities to be pro-presidential.”