The question of Yulia Tymoshenko and cooling of relations between Europe and Ukraine have provoked comments from Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yanukovych.

On Friday, according to Interfax-Ukraine reports, Mr Yanukovych said that he was convinced that a solution to the problem would be found “in the legal field” and that the “politicization of this question is, of course, only temporary in character”.  

He claimed that “a pause” in relations between Ukraine and the EU would be helpful.  

“We have prepared all documents necessary to sign the Association and Free Trade Agreements.  At the moment, I would put it this way:  the European Union has proposed a pause.  And this is the way I understand it – that this pause will be beneficial to Ukraine and the European Union”.

Today, during a meeting with journalists in Donetsk, Ukraine’s President seemingly attempted to distance himself from the furor over Tymoshenko by saying that Ukraine shares the concerns of the international community but then warned that Ukraine would not allow herself to be belittled. 

Speaking specifically about Tymoshenko, Yanukovych emphasised that there were many objective and subjective aspects to the matter.  “Obviously, we are bound to provide (her with) good quality heath care.”

His comments come as EU Foreign Ministers are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the situation in Ukraine, the issue of potentially boycotting Euro-2012 matches held there and the Association Agreement with Ukraine. 


High Representative Baronness Catherine Ashton upon arrival to Foreign Affairs Council this morning remarked that there is "much to talk about (Ukraine) in terms of our strategic discussions about the Association Agreement and consequences in terms of Euro 2012. We're very concerned about the case of Yulia Timoshenko and as you know we have been consistent in sending messages to Ukraine about the importance of justice being done and being seen to be done and the need for them to really consider what they do now. She's one of a number of people who have been treated in a similar fashion. We will continue to put that message across. President Barroso has made clear the Commission's position on Euro 2012, and as Vice-President of the Commission, I fully support him in that. Foreign Ministers now need to debate this and of course we need to talk about that with Poland and that's what we'll do today".


Ukrayinska Dumka


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