News / Europe

EU Official: 'Serious Concern' About Tymoshenko

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko waves from a prison window in Kyiv, Nov. 4, 2011.
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko waves from a prison window in Kyiv, Nov. 4, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

A European Union envoy says he has voiced "serious concern" to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and top officials in Ukraine about the jailing of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule met with Yanukovych in Kyiv before visiting Tymoshenko at the prison where she is being held.

In a statement, Fule said he told Tymoshenko the EU will continue to follow her appeal and insist she is allowed to defend herself in a fair process. Fule also said he talked to Tymoshenko about her health condition. She is suffering from a back problem.

Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail last month for exceeding her power as prime minister when she signed a 2009 gas deal with Russia that her opponents say was too beneficial to Moscow.

She has denied the charges and has appealed her conviction.

Fule's visit comes ahead of a planned Dec. 19 summit in Kyiv between Ukraine and EU leaders that was expected to focus on preliminary steps toward Ukraine's joining the 27-nation bloc. EU officials have warned the trial is damaging Kyiv's hopes of signing an association agreement by the end of this year, a key first step toward gaining EU membership.  

The United States, the EU and human rights groups have condemned the charges against Tymoshenko as politically motivated.

The former prime minister recently said authorities are refusing to properly diagnose and treat her back problem. A top official in her All Ukrainian Union party said she continues to feel worse.

Tymoshenko has described her trial as a "political lynching" aimed at allowing President Yanukovych to rid himself of a political rival. She was expected to be the main opposition candidate in a parliamentary election next year, but is not eligible to run if the conviction is upheld.

In a separate case, Ukraine has charged Tymoshenko with embezzlement and tax evasion while she headed a Ukrainian energy firm in the 1990s.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid