KIEV, May 8 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine has put off the summit of Central and East European countries that was due to take place in Yalta May 11 and May 12 to a yet unspecified date in the future, Alexander Dikusarov, an official spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
"The summit has been put off indefinitely, as the leaders of some European countries can't take part in it at the moment," he said.
Presidents of as many as fourteen countries have informed Kiev they will not come to Yalta for one or another reason, and some of them said point-blank the cause the their refusal to come is the situation around the former Prime Minister, Yulia Timoshenko, who is serving a seven-year jail term for what the Ukrainian judiciary describes as an abuse of occupational powers.
The authorities believe Timoshenko acted beyond the limits of her occupational powers at the beginning of 2009 when she signed agreements on natural gas prices with Russia's gas giant Gazprom.
On the face of it, the presidents of Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Moldova confirmed their plans to come to Yalta.
The summit was expected to focus in one way or another on Ukraine's prospects for joining the European Union.