EU PRESSES UKRAINE TO RELEASE EX-PREMIER

On December 20, 2011, Wall Street Journal published an article on Ukraine. Excerpts below:

A summit aimed at anchoring Ukraine in Europe fell flat on December 19, as the European Union warned it wouldn’t sign a trade and political-association deal with Kiev unless the government took steps to release jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Both sides hailed the conclusion of negotiations on the deal as a stride toward a free-trade agreement and deeper political ties, but the summit in Kiev was overshadowed by the case of the opposition leader, who was convicted in October 2011 on abuse-of-office charges.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said that the signing of the agreement “will depend on political circumstances.”

“Our strong concern is primarily related to the risks of politically motivated justice in Ukraine. The Tymoshenko trial is the most striking example,” Mr. Van Rompuy said.

Ms. Tymoshenko is appealing her seven-year sentence…

Moscow is trying to entice Ukraine into tighter economic and political ties with offers of discounts on natural-gas supplies. Negotiations on a new gas contract, which have been going on for more than 18 months, have stumbled in recent weeks.

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