Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski will meet allies of imprisoned Ukrainian ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to discuss her political persecution.
“A real and acceptable solution ought to be found for the Situation,” Komorowski, whose country currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, said at a joint news conference today with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev.
Tymoshenko, 50, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Oct. 11 for abuse of power while serving as premier by signing 10-year gas-supply and transit agreements with Russia in 2009. The former prime minister, now an opposition leader, has said the trial was engineered by Yanukovych to prevent her from participating in parliamentary elections next year. The U.S. and the EU have condemned the court’s verdict, saying it may have “profound implications” on bilateral relations.
Before Tymoshenko’s trial, Ukraine was set to sign an association agreement with the EU on Dec. 19, which would have included a free-trade area. The former Soviet republic, which relies on steel and chemical exports to drive its economy, is seeking to ease its dependence on Russia, which supplies more than 60 percent of its gas needs.
Tymoshenko has suffered from back pain and was taken to hospital last week, her lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko said Nov. 25. She had been jailed kept in a cell in a Kiev detention centre with two other women before she was unexpectedly moved to another cell, according to Vlasenko, raising concern over her treatment.
“I have instructed all institutions dealing with this issue to create all conditions according to European standards,” Yanukovych said at today’s meeting in Kiev. “This refers to medical treatment, medical examination and conditions in the jail.”