Posts Tagged ‘yulia tymoshenko’


January 31, 2014

News Max on January 30, 2014, published a Thomson-Reuters report on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meeting key Ukrainian opposition figures on January 31 on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich, a senior U.S. official said, his first meeting with some of the leaders of an anti-government uprising against President Viktor Yanukovich. Excerpts below:

Washington has welcomed talks in recent days between Yanukovich and the opposition groups to end two months of protests that began when Yanukovich rejected an EU trade deal in favor of closer ties and a financial bailout with Russia.

Among those attending the meeting with Kerry is Arseny Yatsenyuk, a former economy minister and leader of the party of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko; former boxing champion-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko, who leads the Udar (Punch) party; Petro Poroshenko, a member of parliament; and Ukrainian pop star Ruslana Lyzhychko.

Yanukovich and opposition leaders agreed in talks to repeal some anti-protest laws, a key demand by the opposition. The sides also agreed that prisoners detained by police in the unrest should be granted amnesty although Yanukovich has made this conditional on protesters relinquishing control of all premises and roads they seized.

In addition, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigned on Tuesday after a sharp escalation in street unrest and calls by the opposition for him to step down.
The senior State Department said the U.S. was “cautiously optimistic” about the negotiations between the government and opposition.

Discussions with Kerry would focus on ways to restore calm and relaunch the political process in Ukraine, including plans to form a new government, according to the official.

Kerry has pressed Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov this week to step up pressure on Damascus to give up its chemical weapons. The United States accused Syria of dragging its feet in giving up its chemical arsenal, saying that just 4 percent of its deadliest chemical agents had been shipped out of the country under a UN agreement.


December 1, 2013

Media reported on November 30, 2013, that Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has called on the people of Ukraine to come to a protest on December 1 and not leave the squares until the current regime is overthrown peacefully.

Tymoshenko’s daughter Eugenia read the text of the letter in Kyiv.

(Comment: The demonstrations are peaceful and riot police used violence to clear central Kyiv of protestors. One can only hope that there will be no bloodshed on December 1).


November 23, 2013

Kyiv Post on November 22, 2013, published a letter from Yulia Tymoshenko to the Ukrainian president. Excerpts below:

Editor’s Note: The following is an unofficial translation of a letter written by imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to President Viktor Yanukovych on Nov. 22.
Dear Viktor Fedorovych!

Today I can relatively safely write a letter to you.

We beg your pardon for all…spontaneous emotions, we are all human and sometimes it is hard to control one’s temper. But now it is important not to sink into aggression, but to save the situation by all means. You are the only one, who can do this, that is why I reply to you with this letter.

Viktor Fedorovych, I advise and beg you to call the National Security and Defense Council…

This is your only chance to survive as politician, because now, while killing the agreement, you make the main mistake of your life.

I am well aware of your true internal motivation that is why I will not overstrain you with moral or civilizing adages. I want to give you only three pieces of advice, which you will certainly understand, and which maybe, will save the agreement.

Advice #1. You choose the vector of international strategy of Ukraine depending on the way it will influence your chances to re-elect for the president position. You decided that the best solution for this aim is to straddle the fence between the European Union and Russia, and because you are killing the association agreement with the EU. You think that you can continue to bluff, blackmail and play between two civilizing centers and to receive desired gifts from them for the sake of your power position. From some of them – cheap gas, electorate and money, from others – international legislation of your authoritarian rule and corruption. You are wrong. I believe, that after the failure of signing the agreement, the Western democratic world will leave you alone until 2015, because they are not in the business of reeducating primitive politicians.

Since the final agreement break, you will lose one of the most powerful influence centers, which you want to continue to exploit – the Western democratic world. You will be one to one with Russia; you will have to live up to its road map. At this point, the failure of agreement with the EU will be well approved by Russia, and you are even likely to get some sort of remuneration over this “courageous” step. I do not know what it will be like – relatively cheap gas, discreet loans or withdrawal of trade problems. It doesn’t matter. But keep in mind that these are not just gifts but hooks which you will fall for. And that’s not all. When you will have hardship during the economic and social failure, and there are no International Monetary Fund, no European Union, then your only “friend,” the Russian Federation, will help you, no doubts.

But the price of surrender is the national interests of Ukraine, which even you are not willing to pay. Russia will make you choose: either it will rescue you from socio-economic collapse, which has come already, or will not rescue at all.

So, my advice for you is: under no circumstances stay one to one with Russia, because in this case you will lose everything. You can only be protected with the association agreement.

Advice #2. Stop trying to get money from the Western world so roughly and hysterically in exchange for the agreement. It looks like primitive, crude impropriety. Sign the agreement – and the Western world will give you everything itself. They will save you from all the financial and socio-economic gaps that you have made. Understand that when you sign the agreement, the whole democratic world will be honored not to disappoint Ukrainian society in the European vector of development. Everything will be done for the 46 million people to experience real and substantial positive results by signing the agreement with the EU.

Advice #3 — Do not feel uneasy because of my issue. Your fear is so evident that you cannot hide it. Signing the agreement while holding a political prisoner in your dungeons significantly reduces you

But that’s your risk and your loss. Do what you consider necessary. I give you my word, that if you decide to sign the agreement, on the same day I will apply to European leaders asking to sign the agreement without implementation some parts of criteria, including those related to my release.

Remember my third advice and think about success the country you are responsible for, not about banal conquest of power at all costs, and success will come imperceptibly.

Naturally, you don’t have to listen to my advice. It means no one will give half of the coin for your political future, and you will hardly stay as president of Ukraine for long. But for now, you have time and right to choose. You choose.

Yulia Tymoshenko, imprisoned in Kharkiv’s Kachaniv colony, is the former prime minister of Ukraine. She wrote this letter to President Viktor Yanukovych on Nov. 22.


October 18, 2013

Washington Times on October 17, 2013, reported that the U.S. and the European Union sent a strong diplomatic signal to the Ukrainian government this week by linking improved trade relations to the release of the ailing pro-Western opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Excerpts below:

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt and Jan Tombinski, the EU envoy to the East European nation, visited Mrs. Tymoshenko on October 16 in a hospital in the city of Kharkiv, where she is held under armed guard and treated for a serious spinal condition.

The European Union has been pressing pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych to transfer Mrs.Tymoshenko to Germany for medical treatment.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle last week warned Mr. Yanukovych that the trade agreement could hinge on Mrs. Tymoshenko’s release. The 52-year-old leader of the All Ukrainian Union party was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2011 after a trial that Western leaders denounced as politically motivated. Mrs. Tymoshenko served as prime minister from 2007 to 2010.


October 12, 2013

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.)


October 6, 2013

Interfax-Ukraine on October 4, 2013, reported that former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and former European Parliament President Pat Cox say they handed to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko a proposal to undergo treatment in Germany, and the ex-premier accepted it. Excerpts below:

“Pat Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski have passed to me a proposal to undergo treatment in Germany, and I accepted it,” the ex-premier’s defense counsel, Serhiy Vlasenko, said when reading aloud a statement by Tymoshenko at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday.

“A special mission of the European Parliament headed by Pat Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski is working on the settlement of political prisoners’ problems in Ukraine, and they regularly negotiate my release with Viktor Yanukovych. I’m very grateful to them and all world leaders who delegated them, gave them this mandate, and support their activities. Cox and Kwasniewski handed to me a proposal to leave for treatment in Germany. I am officially accepting this proposal,” Tymoshenko said in the statement read aloud by Vlasenko.

At the same time, Tymoshenko stressed that she had not agreed to undergo treatment in Germany because she distrusts Ukrainian doctors and medical staff. She thanked all doctors, nurses, recreation therapists and everyone who helped her at Kharkiv-based Central Clinical Hospital.

“I fought, I’m fighting and I will fight for my full legal rehabilitation and withdrawal of all of the absurd and falsified charges against me and for my full return to the political life,” Tymoshenko said.

The ex-premier also said she doubts that her treatment abroad can completely resolve this problem. She also expressed the hope that such a step could relax the atmosphere before the upcoming European Partnership Summit.

“I’m stating clearly that my possible trip to Germany is not emigration. I will never seek political asylum anywhere and I will not hide abroad. I will actively participate in setting Ukraine free,” Tymoshenko said.

According to Vlasenko, Cox and Kwasniewski also handed over to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych a petition to pardon Tymoshenko.

“A few hours ago I had a meeting with the members of the European Parliament’s mission, Pat Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski. They allowed me to inform you that today, while meeting with [President] Viktor Yanukovych to discuss the legal side of taking [Yulia] Tymoshenko abroad, Pat Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski submitted a petition to pardon Yulia Tymoshenko, signed by them,” Vlasenko said.

The ex-premier’s defense counsel did not mention some specific dates of Tymoshenko’s possible departure for Germany. He noted that the Cox-Kwasniewski mission would present its report on the fulfillment of Ukraine’s obligations on October 15.


October 5, 2013

Fox News on October 4, 2013, published a report by AP that a lawyer for former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says European envoys have urged the nation’s president to pardon her so that she can undergo treatment in Germany. Excerpts below:

Attorney Serhiy Vlasenko said former European Parliament President Pat Cox and former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski submitted the formal request to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Vlasenko said Tymoshenko accepted an offer for treatment in Germany conveyed by the two envoys. Tymoshenko is being treated for back problems at a Kharkiv hospital while under guard.

Lithuania, which holds the rotating EU presidency, has said the bloc will not sign a key cooperation deal with Ukraine in November until it resolves the issue of Tymoshenko…


October 3, 2013

The National Radio Company of Ukraine on October 2, 2013, reported that The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted a resolution calling for the release of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Serhiy Sobolev, deputy chairman of the Ukrainian delegation in PACE and deputy chairman of the Batkivschyna faction in the Ukrainian parliament, said. Excerpts below:

The resolution states clearly that “all available legal means of releasing Mrs. Tymoshenko should be used, bearing in mind that the judicial procedures that led to her conviction has drawn serious criticism,” Sobolev was quoted by the Batkivschyna press service as saying. “Sobolev is convinced that this can be interpreted as a direct call for Tymoshenko’s release,” the party’s press service said in its report.

“…the key idea stated in the resolution, the issue of the illegality of the conviction of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko for political motives, remains unresolved,” Sobolev said. This resolution is in effect the last warning to the Ukrainian authorities before the Vilnius summit, stating that European integration is impossible without resolving the Tymoshenko issue and without resolving the issue of the judicial administration and prosecutors service reform, he said.


July 8, 2013

The Lithuanian Tribune on July 5, 2013, reported that the Association Agreement with Ukraine will not be signed, if the country fails to release ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko from prison, chairman of the European Parliament’s (EP) Foreign Affairs Committee Elmar Brok said. Excerpts below:

Asked whether there was a possibility for Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement, if Tymoshenko is not released, Brok replied: “No”.

The EU is yet to make a political decision in connection to signing the Association Agreement with Ukraine during the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in November… as Ukraine is criticised for selective justice. The summit will take place in Vilnius in the framework of Lithuania’s EU Council presidency.

“It’s a Tymoshenko case, it’s the question on the judicial reform, including the office of the general prosecutor, it’s the election law,… Brok said at the EP in Strasbourg after Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė presented Lithuanian presidency priorities.

In his words, “the ball now is on the Ukrainian garden.”


June 24, 2013

Radio Free Europe on June 23, 2013, reported that Vitali Klitschko, world heavyweight boxing champion and leader of the opposition Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms (Udar), has called on the government to allow jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to undergo medical treatment in Germany. Excerpts below:

Klitschko made the comments in an exclusive interview with RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service on June 21, following a meeting in Kyiv with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Klitschko said any decision on Tymoshenko depends only “on one person,” Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Klitschko also said Westerwelle advised Ukraine’s opposition to unite its efforts and back a single candidate in the 2015 presidential election.