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Romanian president refuses to take part in Central European summit

May 04, 2012, 4:47 UTC+3
The court sentenced her on October 11, 2011 for exceeding her authority in the signing of the gas contract with Russia in 2009
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CHISINAU, May 4 (Itar-Tass) — Romanian President Traian Basescu refused to take part in the summit of Central European countries in Ukraine due to the scandal around former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko.

“Thus we have demonstrated solidarity with our colleagues in the European Union. Our ambassador will represent Romania at the summit in Yalta,” the president told reporters on Thursday after talks with Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti.

Marking “the importance of relations with Ukraine,” the president stressed that he was “not going to interfere in issues of justice in the neighboring country”.

Earlier, German President Joachim Gauck and Czech President Vaclav Klaus also said they would not attend the summit that will be held in Yalta in mid-May.

Timoshenko went on hunger strike on April 20, protesting that she (as the ex-premier put it) had been roughed up by officers of the Kachanovskaya penitentiary during hospitalization. She serves a sentence there for abusing powers while signing gas agreements with Russia in January 2009.

The Ukrainian mass media published photos on April 27, confirming the presence of haematomas on the ex-premier’s body. The prosecutor’s office in the Kharkov Region (where the penitentiary is) stated that the above photographs were not used during an inspection of Timoshenko’s claims, since they were “obtained not in an established order”.

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.

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