Germany Mulls Visa Restrictions For Ukrainian Officials Due To Tymoshenko's Trial

MOSCOW, Russia -- The German government is discussing a possibility to ban entry for Ukrainian officials involved in a trial of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, said Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine, Hans-Juergen Gaymzet.

Jailed Yulia Tymoshenko

"Some are calling on for it. The debate on this topic is not very popular right now, but the dynamics of political processes is not always possible to predict," Gaymzet said in an interview to the local paper published on Saturday.

Earlier this month, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail on charges of abusing her power in the signing of a 2009 gas deal with Russia that Ukraine seeks to review.

Tymoshenko has said the verdict was a political revenge by the current president Victor Yanukovich.

The EU and the United States have also described the trial as politically motivated, and Moscow said it had a "clear anti-Russian subtext."

A week after the sentence was announced, the EU has put on hold the visit by Yanukovych to Brussels to discuss outstanding details of an association agreement with Europe.

Yanukovych has said that Kiev, which initially planned to sign the agreement this year, was ready to postpone signing as Ukraine's integration in Europe should be separated from prosecution of opposition leader.

"Maybe President Yanukovych meant to say that now the agreement got a lower priority for the government of Ukraine. But the experience shows that only those countries who really want it, find their way to the EU. However, it is clear that in case of delay the situation is not getting easier," said Gaymzet.

The draft of association agreement does not include a prospect of Ukraine's accession to the EU, he said adding that Kiev should first 'built Europe' in the country.

Ukraine will make a step towards the EU if it mitigates the pressure on its opposition and ensures equal competition on the elections, Gaymzet said.

"We should try not to fall into a vicious circle of sanctions, requirements and cancellation of talks."

Source: RIA Novosti