Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara complained during his visit to London today that in 2009 PM Tymoshenko struck a ruinous deal to buy Russian gas at an excessively high price harmful to Ukraine's interests, and therefore her seven year jail sentence for abuse of office was justified.
In 2010, instead of starting afresh, President Yanukovych signed a treaty between Ukraine and Russia whereby the Russian lease on naval facilities in Crimea was extended by 25 years in exchange for what Yanukovych claimed was a healthy discount on Russian natural gas. The contract was entirely based on Tymoshenko's 2009 deal.
The 2010 naval-base-for-cheaper-gas treaty merely added legitimacy to the 2009 Tymoshenko deal, struck under great duress during that year's gas crisis when half of Europe was being starved of gas.
Yanukovych is therefore just as culpable for the high price Ukraine currently continues to pay for Russian gas as Tymoshenko.
Her persecution is entirely politically motivated.
There seems to be a dichotomy of opinion on the chances that an Association Agreement will be signed between the EU and Ukraine in November in Vilnius.
According to today's 'Daily Telegraph': "..there is limited appetite for letting the [Tymoshenko] matter prevent Ukraine signing the association agreement and free trade pact, partly because of fears that it would drive the former Soviet republic further back into Russia's sphere of influence. Poland and Sweden have already made it clear that they want the agreement to be signed, while British diplomats are understood to believe it [Tymoshenko's imprisonment] should not be a sticking point other."
Yet in the conclusion to their interview with Leonid Kozhara, 'Radio Svoboda' declare: "the British government has made it clear to the Ukrainian side it sees a problem."
When prompted by the Radio Liberty correspondent to evaluate the likelihood of a successful signing of the AA agreement in Vilnius, 'experts' in London claimed that chances were 5-10%. and not 50%.
One would think the 'Daily Telegraph' would have good links with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, no?
In their joint statement the British and Ukrainian foreign ministers make no mention of 'the woman'...but there again, "frank and wide-ranging discussion" in diplo-speak means heated and possibly even bad tempered conversation..