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YALTA, September 16 (Itar-Tass) —— The European Union expects the Ukrainian political elite to display responsibility and adherence to European values, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said at the Yalta European Strategy annual meeting.
He said the political polarization in Ukraine did not help the signing of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
The European Union and Ukraine have always successfully cooperated in many areas, from the cleanup of aftermaths of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to the settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict, Barroso said. This partnership will be even more efficient if it is based on fundamental democratic principles and values, he added.
The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement has been drafted and the course has been set, Barroso said. Yet political conditions need to be created for taking the next step – the signing of this document, he said. Meanwhile, the European Union can see the political polarization in Ukraine, which does not help the making of an affirmative decision, he said.
Barroso also said that ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko and ex-Ukrainian Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko had been removed from the political scene and denied a chance to take part in elections.
Timoshenko was taken into custody in the Kiev Pechersky District Court room on August 5, 2011, for “systematic breach of the court procedures, disrespect for the court and dragging out of the gas trial.” The court sentenced her on October 11, 2011, for exceeding her authority in the signing of the gas contracts with Russia in 2009. She was also compelled to pay 1.51 billion hryvni (almost $200 million) to Neftegaz Ukrainy. Timoshenko is serving a seven-year-term in Kharkov.
The Kiev Pechersky District Court sentenced Lutsenko on August 17, 2012, to two years in custody in the case of illegal surveillance in the course of the investigation of the poisoning of ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in 2004. The same court sentenced Lutsenko in February to four years for exceeding his authority and embezzling funds in the celebrations of the Police Day in 2008-2009. The ex-minister has been in custody since December 28, 2010. Lutsenko will be freed in December 2014.