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German FM warns Ukraine against political isolation in Europe

April 30, 2012, 21:03 UTC+3
The European Union will not admit justice be turned into a political instrument, the German minister stressed
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

BERLIN, April 30 (Itar-Tass) — German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has warned Ukraine against political isolation in Europe because of the scandal around former premier Yulia Timoshenko.

“This is much more than the football tournament. We mean that Ukraine sets on stake its rapprochement to Europe if it observes human rights,” said Westerwelle, who is currently in Myanmar on a visit.

The European Union will not admit justice be turned into a political instrument, the German minister stressed. “We put forth a proposal to the Ukrainian government to allow Timoshenko to undergo medical treatment in Germany. I hope that it will be approved because it meets the common interests,” he said.

Timoshenko is serving a seven-year-term in Kharkov. The court sentenced her on October 11, 2011 for exceeding her authority in the signing of the gas contract with Russia in 2009. She was also compelled to pay 1.51 billion grivnas (about 200 million U.S. dollars) to Neftegaz Ukrainy.

A new case against her was opened on October 13, 2011 for writing off the debt of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine to the Russian Defence Ministry worth 405,500,500 U.S. dollars to the state budget of Ukraine, while being the corporation president, under conspiracy with other former prime minister Pavel Lazarenko.

The European Union demanded urgent explanations of the Ukrainian authorities about the situation of the former prime minister, who went on a hunger strike at the Kharkov penitentiary in protest against her alleged beating by penitentiary guards.

The European Commission also demanded the access of competent persons and lawyers to Timoshenko.

European countries, including Germany, calls for boycotting the UEFA Champions League 2012 due to take place in Ukraine. The German government made it clear that Chancellor Angela Merkel could refuse to arrive in Ukraine during the Euro 2012 depending on the fate of the former prime minister.

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