Support The Moscow Times!

Kiev Says European Integration Still Key

KIEV — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who has denounced European Union pressure to release jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, said Tuesday that moving into the European mainstream remained key for his country.

The trial of former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, who was sentenced to seven years in prison last month for abuse of office, has soured ties between Ukraine and the EU and fueled speculation that Kiev will tilt more toward Moscow.

The EU last month called off a planned meeting with Yanukovych, who had said he would not "go begging" to Brussels, months before the two sides planned to initial agreements on political association and free trade.

Speaking to regional governors on Tuesday, Yanukovych said, however, that joining the European mainstream remained a priority for his government.

"I want to confirm once again that the course of modernization and European integration is the key one for Ukraine," he said.

Brussels has pursued technical discussions with Ukraine on the planned bilateral deals but indicated that their signing might not happen until Tymoshenko is released.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian prosecutors have initiated new investigations into Tymoshenko's past activities, accusing her of attempting to steal from the state budget and even saying she could have been involved in a contract murder in 1996.

She has denied any wrongdoing and says her prosecution is a political vendetta by Yanukovych, who beat her narrowly in an election for the presidency in February 2010.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more