Saturday, June 08, 2013

EU correct to insist Ukraine smartens up before signing AA

Ever the apologist, Adrian Karatnycky considers the EU is making a mistake by making the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement conditional on the release of imprisoned former PM Yulia Tymoshenko.

Yulia Tymoshenko, as any Ukrainian citizen, is entitled to fair treatment and a fair trial.

The European Court of Human Rights have already declared her rights have been violated - she was wrongfully detained before her 2011 trial for 'exceeding her powers' as PM.

The ECHR are now determining whether her human rights were abused during the trial itself.

Whilst the undisputed leader of the political opposition in Ukraine finds herself in this situation a big question mark hangs over Ukraine's democratic credentials.

Until such time that Tymoshenko's guilt in any crimes is clearly shown to be 'beyond reasonable doubt' in the eyes of European observers, her persecution will be considered politically motived.

The risible evidence presented so far in pre-trial hearings which prosecutors claim link Tymoshenko to the murder of Yevhen Shcherban over a decade and a half ago only hardens these observers' opinion - the opposition leader is being persecuted for political reasons.

As such, few European leaders will support signing of an AA with Ukraine, particularly as all of Ukraine's present and past leaders and their pals, have very shady past histories and continue to abuse their status.... stealing millions....

p.s Even if Tymoshenko will be allowed to travel to another country, probably Germany, for medical treatment, as ever-stronger rumours indicate, there is no sign Ukraine's slide into authoritarianism would slow down. Clinching the AA deal will make little difference... Yanukovych's thuggish insistence Tymoshenko pays a 1.6Bn Hryven 'fine' and declines to take any further part in Ukrainian politics in order to buy her release will make western leaders squirm..Does Yanukovych seriously believe that any western politician would undertake to broker and guarantee such a deal? If so, the man is seriously out of touch with reality.


Unknown said...

Yes, it is proper for the EU to have preconditions for the current Ukraine regime to practice democratic measures, if it wants to have an Association Agreement.

Bernard said...

Yes, Yanukovych actually believes he can make such deals (Tymoshenko exile in Germany, in return of the 1.6 billion "fine"), as he has repeatedly made such assertions. First time already in november 2011, when he insulted Angela Merkel with these kind of suggestions. It was also reported on this blog. After that, Angela Merkel has publicly demonstrated her contempt for Yanukovych and refused every contact with him. And now, when only handful of countries have any meetings at all with Yanukovych, he has sent poor Kozhara to travel
around Europe, begging European leaders to allow Yanukovych to continue with the Stalinist show trials and to keep his main
political opponent in jail. Yanukovych lives in a fantasy world, which the grotesque and obscene luxury with which he surrounds himself, is further demonstration of. When he occasionally travels in the country, Potemkin villages are erected to keep him ignorant of the reality. He resembles more and more another communist dictator of the past, Ceaucescu of Romania; the bizarre obsession with luxury, pretending to be writing books, ignorance of reality, personal paranoia, nepotism, persecution of
political opponents etc. Maybe the day is not so far away when also Yanukovych will try to escape from the fury of the people in one of his luxury helicopters?