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Cox/Kwasniewski monitoring mission to arrive in Ukraine next week

November 14, 2013, 5:17 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

It would be the mission’s 27th visit to Ukraine

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BRUSSELS, November 14 (Itar-Tass) - The European Parliament’s mission in Ukraine led by former Polish President Aleksander Kwa·niewski and former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox will arrive in Kiev next week, Cox told the European Parliament on Wednesday.

He said it would be the mission’s 27th visit to Ukraine. He also said that they planned to have as many meetings and talks as necessary to ensure its success.

Kwasniewski, in turn, said he assessed the mission chances for success as fifty-fifty.

Earlier, the European Parliament extended the mission’s mandate till the very last minute of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius due on November 28-29. 

The signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union might be postponed for two years, Kwasniewski said on Wednesday.

He said that should Ukraine keep on delaying the release of its former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, who was serving a seven-year sentence, Ukraine would be able to sign this agreement only in two years.

In a bid to find facts proving the political backing of the so-called Timoshenko case and press Ukraine for the immediate release of the former prime minister, the European Parliament sent a monitoring mission to that country in June 2012, just ahead of the European Football Cup. Initially, the mission was given two weeks but now, sixteen months since it has not yet finished its activity. The European Parliament has extended the mission’s term for one more months in a hope that by that time Kiev would have fulfilled all the requirements needed to have the Association Agreement signed in late November in Vilnius.

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.

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