Radio Free Europe on October 10, 2013, published AFP and AP reports on Germany urging Ukraine to release jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, or risk impeding the signing of a key agreement with the European Union in November. Excerpts below:

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle made the comments after talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kyiv.

Westerwelle urged Kyiv to solve the Tymoshenko problem because “we want Ukraine to go the right way towards Europe.”

Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2011 for crimes related to a 2009 gas deal with Russia. She denies the charges as politically motivated.

The EU has long sought a pardon for Tymoshenko or at least her release for medical treatment abroad ahead of Ukraine’s expected signing of an EU Association Agreement in Vilnius in November.

(Comment: The signing of the EU Association Agreement in Vilnius in November 2013 is of great geopolitical significance for EU as Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe. For improved economic and political development of this country so long under Soviet and Russian domination this treaty is vital.)


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