Support The Moscow Times!

EU Official Expects Ukraine's Tymoshenko to go to Germany Soon

BRUSSELS — The European Union's enlargement chief said Tuesday that he expected Ukraine to allow jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko to go to Germany for medical treatment before a Nov. 28 to 29 meeting, removing an obstacle to an EU-Ukraine trade pact.

"I think we are not far away from that," European Commissioner Stefan Fuele told reporters when asked if Tymoshenko was close to being allowed to go to Germany.

"I definitely expect that to have happened before the Vilnius summit."

Tymoshenko, a bitter rival of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, was jailed for seven years in 2011 for abuse of office after what the EU and Western governments said was a political trial.

EU governments have linked her release to the signing of an EU-Ukraine association and free trade agreement at a summit scheduled for Nov. 28 to 29 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The agreement could lead to a historic shift westwards for Ukraine, away from Russia, its old Soviet master.

The EU has demanded a series of democratic reforms by Kiev before the Vilnius summit, including ending politically motivated justice. "Seeing the progress on all other benchmarks, I think it would only make sense if the Ukrainians deliver on this remaining benchmark," Fuele said.

Tymoshenko suffers from spinal problems and has received treatment from specialists while under guard at a hospital in Ukraine. Germany has offered to take her for medical treatment, and if she is released she is expected to travel there.

However, that still leaves open the question of whether she will be pardoned by Yanukovych. While he may accede to her leaving the country for treatment, there are doubts about whether he would issue a pardon to such a hardened rival.

… 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