US: release of Yulia Tymoshenko and transparent elections are key to relations with Ukraine
The release of Yulia Tymoshenko and conduct of free and fair parliamentary elections will determine the future of cooperation between the United States and Ukraine, says U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Michael Hammer, according to the Official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko.
"We remain concerned that former Prime Minister Tymoshenko remains jailed. She should be freed. These are the kinds of things that don't lead to a conducive and positive environment for elections. This is an issue that is very primary to U.S. interests, to European interests," Hammer said in Washington, DC, on October 4.
The State Department representative added that they have a constant dialogue with Congress on how to advance bilateral relations in the interests of the U.S. and Ukraine. "We are very focused on trying to encourage transparent, free, and fair elections in Ukraine on October 28th. And we have repeatedly called for the release of former Prime Minister Tymoshenko and an end to selective persecutions of individuals in Ukraine," he added, responding to a question about the Senate resolution calling for sanctions against Ukrainian officials responsible for the persecution of opposition leaders.
"This is an issue that is very much a focus of our attention and working with members of Congress. We will be monitoring, obviously, what takes place during those elections. And again, it's a concerted effort by the European partners, by the United States to try to do what we can to convince the Ukrainian authorities that they do conduct these elections in a free and transparent manner," Hammer stressed.