News / Europe

Ukraine's Yanukovich Pushes Hard Line on Tymoshenko Release

A banner with the portrait of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is seen as police stand guard during an opposition rally in front of the Parliament building in Kyiv, Nov. 13, 2013.
A banner with the portrait of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is seen as police stand guard during an opposition rally in front of the Parliament building in Kyiv, Nov. 13, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich signaled on Thursday that he would sign a law to release his jailed opponent Yulia Tymoshenko to go to Germany for medical treatment only if it meant she went there as a convicted person.
 
He said the law could not be used “as a means of evading criminal responsibility” - meaning that Tymoshenko would be expected to return to Ukraine after treatment for back trouble and continue serving her sentence.
 
A landmark free trade agreement which Ukraine is due to sign with the European Union on Nov. 28 hinges on the release of Tymoshenko, Yanukovich's fiercest opponent, who was jailed in 2011 for abuse of office.
 
The EU says her trial was political and regards her as a victim of “selective justice' which it wants ended in Ukraine.
 
Yanukovich said five drafts were under discussion ahead of a special parliament session next Tuesday which is due to discuss a law to free her and clear the way for the Nov. 28 signing of the trade pact in Vilnius, Lithuania.
 
Arguing that the law could not be abused to evade criminal responsibility, he said: “The law ... must apply not only to Tymoshenko but to all citizens”.
 
Yanukovich, whose comments were carried on the presidential website, was clearly ruling out using his presidential powers to give her an official pardon to allow her to go to Germany as a free person.
 
The formula that Yanukovich, who has to sign any draft into law, was insisting on has been opposed by her supporters in parliament in the past.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid