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February 4, 2012

Hillary Clinton Concerned About Selective Justice in Ukraine

Kyiv, February 4, 2012. The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informed the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych about her concern over selective prosecutions of political opposition members in Ukraine, particularly the case of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko.

The meeting of Hillary Clinton with President Yanukovych took place at the 48th Munich Security Conference in Germany. At the meeting the officials discussed energy security, as well as Ukraine’s European integration aspirations. A senior State Department official informed that Secretary Clinton, speaking of the Yulia Tymoshenko case, explained that the American government did not just want to see legal reforms implemented in Ukraine but wanted “to support Ukraine’s European integration and to improve Ukraine’s image and reputation”.

This is not the first time that the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voices her opinion on the prosecution of Yulia Tymoshenko. In January 2012 the U.S. official wrote a letter of support to the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, who was already in jail for almost six months at the time. Secretary Clinton expressed her concern that the Kyiv appellate court reconfirmed Tymoshenko’s sentence but failed to look into the issue of selective prosecution and justice that had been raised many times during the trial.

In her letter Secretary Clinton reassured Ukrainian opposition leader that the U.S. would continue insisting on fair legal proceedings in Ukraine, as well as releasing Yulia Tymoshenko and other jailed former Ukrainian officials. Secretary Clinton also emphasized that the U.S. government was hoping for fair elections in Ukraine featuring all legitimate political figures and parties. In her opinion, this will be a vital step on the way toward European integration Ukraine successfully followed before.

The cases of selective justice in Ukraine were condemned by many political figures in the U.S. On February 2, 2012, the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on European Affairs Jeanne Shaheen stated that the arrest of Yulia Tymoshenko was based on questionable, politically motivated charges. The Senator reckoned Tymoshenko’s arrest contradicted the principles of free and transparent political system.