EU-Ukraine Association Negotiations Go on
Kyiv, October 12, 2011. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko said that Ukraine and the EU had never been closer to finalizing the Association deal. Such statement was made during the session of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels where the Association Agreement with Ukraine is being negotiated. At the same time, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement that the Yulia Tymoshenko case should not have any negative impact on the conclusion of the Association Agreement, the process Mrs. Tymoshenko has publicly supported on numerous occasions.
In response to the reaction of European leaders towards the verdict announced by the Ukrainian Pechersk district court in the case of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko the Ministry stated that no internal process could undermine the strategic perspective of the Ukraine-EU relations.
“The judgment announced today is within competence of the court. In accordance with the legislation of Ukraine the convicted person and her attorneys have the right to appeal against the court’s decision and defend their legal positions. Ukrainian government within its constitutional powers will do all possible to provide the transparency of this process,” states the Ministry.
Immediately after the announcement of the verdict for Yulia Tymoshenko a number of European political figures shared their reactions to the ruling on the case. Catherine Ashton, the Vice President of the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, expressed her disappointment with the ruling in Tymoshenko’s case. The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek stated his hopes that the Tymoshenko’s sentence may be reconsidered if the appeal is filed.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden Carl Bildt also opined on the verdict via twitter: “We have reacted strongly against the outgoes sentence against Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine. This will endanger the entire relationship.”
On October 11, 2011, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko was found guilty of abuse of office by the Ukrainian court after three months of court deliberations. Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison. The sentence stipulates the defendant’s obligation to repay USD 190 million in losses and a ban to hold public office for three years.