PM Azarov tells the readers of 'Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung' that the criminal cases and imprisonment of Tymoshenko and Lutsenko are of secondary importance and that Ukraine intends to continue on the path to eurointegration.
But as I wrote yesterday, the Council of the European Union have already given their verdict - the Tymoshenko and Lutsenko cases were politically motivated and "did not respect international standards as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process."
They are a roadblock to EU-Ukraine relations and in no way secondary..
Because the Ukrainian authorities fear the European Court of Human Rights will soon rule in favour of Tymoshenko another, charges on a more serious case, that of the murder of Yevhen Shcherban 17 years ago, are likely to be brought against her. Quite why Ukrainian authorities assume Western observers will consider the Shcherban case to be also anything other that politically motivated is beyond me. On the contrary, it merely provides further confirmation that Western observers' assessment of Tymoshenko's treatment is correct.
The Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor-General Renat Kuzmin has already been denied a US visa...and could well be denied entry to the European Union too.
Kuzmin's boss, Pshonka has declared Shcherban was killed because he and his company IUD did not bow to pressure over natural gas prices from USEU, the energy company that Tymoshenko headed at that time.
Yet today one of the founders of Industrial Union of Donbas,a man who was at the heart of its gas dealings, one of Ukraines' biggest oligarchs and one of Shcherban's closest associates at IUD, Serhiy Taruta, in a revealing 'Ukrainska Pravda interview states: "All commercial conflicts with [Tymoshenko's] UESU and us ended by January 1996 - ten months before the killing of Yevhen Shcherban. By January were were [all together] in one boat."
"Practically every week a big UESU and Itera team used to come [to us]. They sat constantly in our office, we agreed specifications according to each factory; this was a big job and at the same time a complex job... [Shcherban's] killing in no way changed our scheme [of operations], provided no advantage to UESU..."
So what was the motive?