Vaclav Havel: arrest of Yulia Tymoshenko confirms that absence of rule of law

09:39, 01 September 2011
Politics
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Former President of the Czech Republic...

Former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel says the arrest of ex-Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko is a glaring example of how the current Ukrainian authorities are ignoring the rule of law, according to the Official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko.

“Since President Viktor Yanukovych’s election in 2010, Ukraine has experienced a significant and alarming deterioration in its democratic framework. Fundamental tenets of a democratic society —freedom of expression, assembly and the press — are increasingly coming under pressure. Moreover, the prosecution of opposition members, culminating in the arrest and detention of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko during a trial that most of the West has deemed politically driven, seems to confirm that the rule of law is being brushed aside,” Vaclav Havel wrote in an op-ed for the Moscow Times.

He believes Ukraine has reached a crossroads. “One signpost points toward democracy, while the other toward autocracy. A clear majority of Ukraine’s citizens favors EU membership, but their enthusiasm is tempered by the absence of a clear EU policy toward Ukraine,” he said.

He also expressed concern that growing Moscow-Kyiv rapprochement after the signing of the Kharkiv agreements will have obvious implications for many EU countries’ energy security.

The former Czech president ended his article with the following advice for the EU: "It is in the EU’s vital interest to strive for a far more active policy toward Ukraine. The current Polish EU presidency should hark back to the origins of Poland’s thriving democracy and recall the essential support that it received from the West a generation ago. A similar effort is needed for Ukraine today, and that effort should not be set aside for reasons of political expedience or simple economic self-interest.”

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