“The legislation in Ukraine dates back to the USSR, which was not adapted to the conditions of a democratic country. It had to be changed a long time ago. A country cannot live on conditions that are only ostensibly democratic. Concrete steps must be made. The independence of the judiciary and supremacy of law are the fundamental principles in any democratic society, EC Ambassador to Ukraine Jose Manuel Pinto Teixeira told KW.  In an interview she gave immediately after the ambassador’s meeting with the Presidential Administration, he has given to understand that Ukraine’s relations with Europe have hit rock bottom.

Asked if the EU ready to impose economic sanctions against Ukraine if the Ukrainian government refuses to release ex-Premier Tymoshenko from prison and allowing her to run in the 2012 parliamentary elections, Mr Teixeira said:

“The issue is not about sanctions. The EU requires that Ukraine become a more democratic country. Unfortunately, over the past year and a half there were certain events that raised our concern and did not show signs of the creation of a democratic society in Ukraine. The cases against Yulia Tymoshenko and other members of the previous government are the most notable, particularly on the international arena.”

Earlier, Vice President of the European Union Catherine Ashton made a statement saying that the criminal persecution of Tymoshenko is politically motivated and the sentence passed down does not comply with international standards in terms of fair, transparent and independent processes. Many EU governments came forth with similar statements even before the sentence was passed down. The Helsinki Commission on Human Rights stated that the rights of Tymoshenko were violated and her arrest was not substantiated by the court.