EU demands that Ukrainian authorities resolve problem of political prisoners

12:28, 05 April 2013
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Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, and Stefan Fule, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy are angered by the Ukrainian authorities’ disrespect for the rule of law in the case of political prisoners Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko, according to official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko.

"We will continue to monitor closely developments in Ukraine and we look forward to the full implementation of the conclusions of the 10 December 2012 Foreign Affairs Council and 25 February 2013 EU-Ukraine Summit," Catherine Ashton and Stefan Fule said in statement following the decision by Ukraine’s Higher Specialized Court for Civil and Criminal Cases to uphold the verdict against Yuriy Lutsenko.

They stressed that the trial "did not respect international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal processes."

The EU representatives commended the efforts undertaken by the European Parliament’s monitoring mission to Ukraine headed by former European Parliament President Pat Cox and former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. "We call on the Ukrainian authorities to step up cooperation with the mission to redress the effects and remove the concerns regarding selective justice," they said.

The Council of the European Union on 10 December 2012 identified the conditions under which it will continue negotiations with the Ukrainian government on the possible signing of an association agreement. "The Council expects the authorities to address the cases of politically motivated convictions without delay as well as to take further steps to reform the judiciary to prevent any recurrence," the document said.

After the EU-Ukraine Summit on 25 February 2013, Presidents of the European Council and European Commission Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso said that the key condition for the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement remains the issue of selective justice. "The signing of the association agreement is based on three issues – selective justice, electoral law and reforms. We, on behalf of the European Union, are calling for progress to be made on these issues by May of this year," stressed Herman Van Rompuy.

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