The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of European isn’t ruling out imposing sanctions against the Yanukovych regime for the Ukraine’s government’s failure to respect fundamental principles of democracy and the rule of law, according to Official web site Yulia Tymoshenko.

“The Assembly considers that the implementation of its recommendations, and especially those relating to the criminal prosecution of former government members, would signal the commitment of the authorities to the norms and values of the Council of Europe. Conversely, failing to do so, within a reasonable timeframe, would raise serious questions regarding the authorities` commitment to the principles of democracy and the rule of law, which should lead to an appropriate response of the Assembly. The Assembly therefore invites the Monitoring Committee to follow the situation closely and to propose any further action to be taken by the Assembly as required by the situation, including with regard to the possible consideration of sanctions if the Assembly`s demands are not met,” reads the resolution on the functioning of democratic institutions in Ukraine that was adopted today by PACE.

The Assembly expressed its concern with regard to the criminal proceedings initiated against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, former Minister of the Interior Yuriy Lutsenko and other former government members.

“The most important decision we took is to ask the president of Ukraine to consider all legal means available to him to release all those former government members and to allow them to compete in the upcoming parliamentary elections. And those that are in pre-trial detention and in prison should have the medical care they need. Ukraine has promised a lot, but now it’s time to go from words to actions,” said Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin, the PACE co-rapporteur.

“Our discussion on Ukraine was very important for the Ukrainian future. First of all, we recognize that Ukraine has been doing a lot of things and has adopted many laws and a many of the commitments are met. However, if we look at the criminal prosecution of opposition leaders it undermines everything else. So, our decision today was that Ukraine has to take these charges very seriously. The Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council is very worried about this tendency, and is also ready to consider all necessary means it has, including maybe in the future, sanctions, if Ukraine is not moving in the right direction,” said Mailis Reps of Estonia.

The Assembly also expressed its concern about the deteriorating health of Yulia Tymoshenko and called on the authorities to allow, without preconditions, medical examinations and, if necessary, treatment by independent doctors outside the prison service.