The European parliament will vote on Thursday on a resolution calling for free and fair elections and the release of political prisoners in Ukraine.© RIA Novosti
KIEV, May 23 (RIA Novosti)
The European parliament will vote on Thursday on a resolution calling for free and fair elections and the release of political prisoners in Ukraine.
According to a statement released by the European Parliament, EU lawmakers will discuss on Thursday the situation in Ukraine, and in particularly the treatment of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
Vladimir Makiyenko, a pro-Europe Ukrainian lawmaker told Russian newspaper, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, on Wednesday that the EU had the mechanisms and capacity to introduce sanctions against Ukraine.
“There can be made uncomfortable, and even humiliating for ordinary people, decisions as well as ones financially dangerous for Ukrainian businessmen who are close to the ruling authorities…But nothing will happen before the Ukrainian parliamentary elections,” The Nezavisimaya Gazeta quoted Makiyenko as saying.
The members of the European Parliament will also consider issues relating to the signing of an Association Agreement with Ukraine, a bilateral deal aimed at establishing political association and economic integration between the European Union and Ukraine.
At the EU-Ukraine summit, held in Kiev in December 2011, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the agreement is unlikely to be signed before the Ukrainian parliamentary elections due in October. The trial and subsequent seven-year jail term for Tymoshenko, which Europe sees as politically motivated, has also became a hurdle for signing the document.
Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years for pushing through a 2009 gas deal with Russia. Authorities in Ukraine say the deal has caused multi-billion-dollar losses to the country’s economy and deny accusations by Western powers and Russia that the trial was politically motivated.
A recent appeal hearing involving Tymoshenko was delayed due to health issues surrounding the former Ukraine Prime Minister. European leaders have called on Ukraine to ensure that she has access to effective medical care.
“The Ukrainian authorities and the parliament have agreed that medical experts will be sent to Ukraine to treat Ms Tymoshenko,” the European Parliament said in its statement.
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