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KIEV, April 27 (Itar-Tass) — Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky has refuted allegations that the country’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is serving a sentence on office abuse charges, might be released in exchange for the signing of an association agreement between Kiev and Brussels.
In an interview with Friday’s issue of the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper, Khoroshkovsky said his words were misinterpreted. “There is no question of Europe’s bargaining Timoshenko’s release,” he said. “Journalists simply misinterpreted my words, maybe because of misunderstanding or because of nuances of translation.”
“My words were taken out of the context and their meaning was distorted,” he stressed.
He recalled what he had told journalists during his visit to Brussels. “Ukraine is ready to speak about amending laws applicable to Timoshenko, should it be the only problem between Ukraine and Europe,” he then said. He clarified his words, saying that “the current agenda with the European Union has more than just one issue, that concerning Yulia Timoshenko; the agenda includes a range of issues, including on financial assistance, on technical assistance, and others.” “Apart from that, the agenda has political content linked with the Timoshenko case. Anyway, on the path toward our strategic goal – association with Europe – this issues will all the same be settled and finished,” Khoroshkovsky noted.
Because of the poor translation, he said, “what I read looks like blackmailing, which is absolutely inadmissible and untypical of me.” “Moreover, it was absolutely pointless, since I was speaking to journalists and my task was to clarify me position rather than demand anything,” he emphasized.
Khoroshkovsky’s words, in the interpretation of a Western journalist, were widely cited on Thursday by the Ukrainian media, which said that official Kiev was about to set free the ex-premier to clear way for an association agreement with the European Union.