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Ukrainian opposition negotiating possible sanctions on public officers with EU

October 28, 2011, 20:33 UTC+3

The European Parliament deplored the conviction of ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko

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KIEV, October 28 (Itar-Tass) — The Ukrainian opposition is holding negotiations with the European Union on the possible freezing of bank accounts of certain Ukrainian public officers and restrictions on their travels, first deputy head of the Batkivshchyna party Alexander Turchinov said on Friday.

“We are holding consultations on possible sanctions against particular public officers, prosecutors and judges, such as the freezing of their accounts and travel restrictions. This are the only things the authorities will react to,” he said. “The Thursday resolution of the European parliament is the last chance Europe gives to the Yanukovich regime.”

The European Parliament deplored the conviction of ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko as a violation of human rights and an abuse of the judiciary designed to silence Ukraine’s leading opposition politician.

“A failure to review former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko’s conviction will jeopardize the prospects of concluding and ratifying an EU-Ukraine association agreement,” the European Parliament said.

The resolution urged the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that legal proceedings in any appeals against Timoshenko’s conviction or in trials of other members of the former government are fair, transparent and impartial. The deputies insisted that Timoshenko should be allowed to participate fully in the political process both now and in the forthcoming elections in Ukraine.

They fear that the Timoshenko trial is at odds with Ukraine’s proclaimed commitment to democracy and European values, and voice concern at signs of decline in democratic freedoms and the possible use of state institutions for partisan purposes and political revenue. The deputies are also alarmed by reports about the deterioration of media freedom and pluralism in Ukraine.

The parliament welcomed the preliminary agreement to conclude a deep and comprehensive EU-Ukraine free trade agreement, which, it said, could be a basis for finalizing talks on the association agreement.

The deputies believe that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s recently postponed visit to Brussels could have helped to achieve the progress needed to remove technical and political obstacles to initialing the association agreement. The parliament urged the Council and Commission to reschedule the meeting so that it takes place before the planned EU-Ukraine summit in December 2011.

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