On Wednesday, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Tomasz Sikorski warned the Ukraine about a possible delay in signing an association deal with the EU if Kiev fails to fulfil all conditions, including the timely release of a jailed former premier. He told Polsat News TV that Georgia and Moldova plan to initial similar deals with the EU during this year’s summit and sign them in 2014, saying, “There’s an alternative that the agreement with the Ukraine would also be signed next year”. Sikorski said that the release of Yuliya Timoshenko, a former prime minister and head of the opposition Fatherland Party, remains uncertain to date.
The Ukraine, inching closer to joining the EU, is due to sign an association agreement with the bloc next month. However, last Friday, the European Commission’s president said that they’d postpone inking the deal until the Ukraine makes considerable progress in stamping out “selective justice”, including Timoshenko. Ukrainian Justice Minister Yelena Lukash replied that his country wouldn’t consider pardoning Timoshenko until all judicial proceedings against her are completed. In 2011, Timoshenko received a seven-year prison sentence for abuse of power over a gas contract with Russia that was determined to be financially unfavourable for the Ukraine. She insisted that the charges were politically motivated. A new case against Timoshenko on charges of abuse of office at the United Energy Systems of the Ukraine (ЕЭСУ: EESU), which she headed in the 1990s, has been pending in a Kiev court since April 2012. Timoshenko’s back problems have constantly postponed hearings. She also faces charges of organising the murder of a local politician in 1996.
31 October 2013
Now, one can see why Yanukovich (of all people) was wooing the EU. It’s all for domestic political consumption, especially, amongst his powerbase in the Eastern Ukraine. You see, when the EU balks at accepting them as a member, he can say, “Well, I tried, but the SOBs put conditions that we couldn’t agree to without sacrificing our sovereignty and they wanted to interfere in our internal affairs”. Yanukovich is playing a wily game… give him ten points.
Do note the source. The Poles have claims on Ukrainian territory… and haven’t given them up. Hmm…