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KIEV, November 8 (Itar-Tass) - Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, or parliament, will meet for an extraordinary session on Wednesday,November 13,” parliament speaker Vladimir Rybak said on Friday.
“Opposition lawmakers say they have collected 150 signatures needed to convene an extraordinary session on Tuesday or Wednesday,” he said. “I will sign an instruction to convene a Verkhovna Rada session on Wednesday and consider urgent issues.” He said that these urgent issues included a bill on medical treatment of convicts in foreign medical establishments.
According to Rybak, negotiations with leaders of the European Parliament’s mission, Pat Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski “were very difficult and failed to bring the position of the majority factions and the opposition closer together.” The speaker noted that at the moment the leaders of the European Parliament’s mission were in Kharkov, where former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko was undergoing medical treatment.
Apart from that, Rybak asked the opposition to issue no ultimatums. “Thrown into the scale are the fates of 45.5 million people on the one hand and one person [Yulia Timoshenk] - on the other,” he said. “As for understanding that might be reached here, in parliament, between the opposition and the majority, I hope a working group we have set up earlier today would suggest anything to coordinate this bill between the opposition and the majority. But as of now there is no such understanding within parliament.”
The European Union demands that the Ukrainian authorities release Yulia Timoshenko from prison, otherwise they threaten not to sign the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union at an Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 28-29. As an option, it is considered to allow Timoshenko undergo medical treatment outside Ukraine. Disputes between the opposition and the authorities center round whether the former prime minister should be put back in prison after her rehabilitation course abroad or she would be automatically amnestied.
Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko is serving her seven-year jail term at a prison in Kharkov, Ukraine, for abuse of office while signing gas contracts with Russia in 2009. For over a year she has been in a hospital located in Kharkov.