Ukraine’s Prosecutors Allow Former PM Tymoshenko To Travel To Brussels

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) on Wednesday granted permission to former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to travel to Brussels despite the conditions set for her bail over alleged misuse of government funds.

Yulia Tymoshenko

According to the UNIAN news agency, Tymoshenko requested permission to travel to Lithuania and Belgium to attend international summits. She was ordered not to leave Ukraine as the investigation over the charges against her.

Tymoshenko was invited by U.S. Senator John McCain and European People's Party President Wilfried Martens to attend the visit the European People's Party's summit in Brussels on March 24.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite have also invited Tymoshenko to participate in the international forum "Women Enhancing Democracy: Best Practices" to be held on June 30. Prosecutors said that the permit for this visit will be considered later.

Tymoshenko is accused of misuse of government funds and abuse of power offenses. In December 2010, she was first charged with misuse of government funds in relation to the illegal divert of $425 million meant for environmental projects into pension funds.

In February, the former PM was additionally accused of abuse of power in relation to the purchase of 1,000 Opel Combo minivans.

Prosecutors said that the vehicles are valued at approximately $15,000 but Timoshenko's government purchased them for 20 percent more (around $18,000).

One day after the charges were brought against Tymoshenko, a fight broke out in the Ukrainian Parliament after members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc-Batskivshchyna alliance staged a protest over the accusations.

The opposition has strongly criticized the Yanukovych government due to its "anti-Ukrainian" and "pro-Russian" policies.

Tymoshenko was ousted as Prime Minister in a no-confidence vote following her narrow defeat to Viktor Yanukovych in last February's presidential election.

Source: BNO News