KIEV, November 13, 21:42 /ITAR-TASS/. MPs from Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions said they would not vote for the opposition’s draft law that allows prisoners to travel abroad for medical treatment, which may also apply to former Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko.
MP Vladimir Oleinik from the Party of Regions said neither he nor his colleagues had had the chance to read the opposition’s draft law. “We will simply not vote for this draft law because we have not seen it to read… we will not vote for it,” he said.
The Party of Regions has put forth several conditions for solving the so-called “Timoshenko issue”.
MP Vitaly Zhuravsky of the Party of Regions said that a court should have the opinion of a commission made up of Ukrainian doctors, which would confirm that a prisoner has a severe condition that cannot be cured in Ukraine.
“Second, a foreign clinic of recognised standing, such as German Charite Clinic, should confirm that a person has such condition and that it cannot be cured in Ukraine. And this foreign clinic should assume an obligation to provide treatment to this prisoner,” the MP said.
He also believes that Ukraine should have an agreement on legal assistance with the country to which such person will go.
“Fourth, the court will decide for how long a person will go abroad, and the Health Ministry will determine the optimal period of time for treating grave conditions,” Zhuravsky said.
The Party of Regions also wants Timoshenko to pledge in court that she would return to Ukraine after treatment in a foreign clinic in order to continue to serve her prison term. Zhuravsky believes that this law should not apply to persons who have committed grave or very grave crimes.
The adoption of this law is one of the conditions Ukraine has to meet for signing an association agreement with the European Union.
November 19 will be the last chance for the parliament to adopt this and other laws needed for signing the agreement with the EU, said former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who co-chairs the European Parliament’s monitoring mission to Ukraine together with Pat Cox.
They attended the evening sitting of the parliament, when it debated draft laws on the reform of prosecution and electoral legislation, and the draft law on the medical treatment of prisoners abroad, which is hoped to solve the so-called “Timoshenko issue.”
“We understand that there was no possibility today to pass the laws needed for signing the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU,” Kwasniewki said. “We also understand that there is a working group at work to draft a law that should help solve the Timoshenko’s health issue. We expect all these issues to be resolved within the next several days before the next sitting [of the parliament] so that the parliament could adopt the final decision on November 19,” he said.
He believes that the sitting on November 19 will be “the last moment when something can be done.” “We understand that this is very difficult politically, but we hope that there will be enough good will to find a consensus and that all those who want to sign the association agreement with the EU will work to get all the necessary laws adopted on Tuesday, November 19,” Kwasniewski said.
Many European politicians consider the Timoshenko case an example of “selective justice” and condition the signing of the association agreement with the EU on its resolution.
Kwasniewski and Cox are to present their conclusions in Brussels on November 13. Based on their findings, EU countries will decide whether to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 28-29.
The European Commission has urged Ukraine to hurry and solve the “Timoshenko issue” promptly as time is running short.