New PACE President Concerned About Tymoshenko Case In Ukraine

STRASBOURG, France -- PACE President-elect Jean-Claude Mignon has said he is concerned about the case of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and that he believes that Ukraine should follow the European standards in the field of democracy and the rule of law.

PACE President-elect Jean-Claude Mignon.

He said at a press conference after his election as PACE president that he planned to discuss these issues with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryschenko during the latter's visit to Strasbourg.

"After the foreign minister arrives in Strasbourg, I intend to meet with him to … say, in particular, that Ukraine is a great country. I respect Ukraine, but I do not understand how Yulia Tymoshenko was convicted," he said.

Mignon said that he had the opportunity to meet Tymoshenko in Kiev before she was imprisoned.

"Now I'm extremely concerned that a state in which a woman who held the highest position in Ukraine can put her in prison. The president and the PACE, especially the PACE, should remain very worried, of course, without interfering in the activity of the judicial system in Ukraine," he said.

Mignon reiterated that Ukraine is a great and independent country.

"I believe that in order to become more European, this country should meet our standards, in particular, in democracy, the rule of law, and we should not see such courts that are reminiscent of the era of the former Soviet Union, which we have already forgotten," he said.

He also apologized for "being so outspoken."

"My duty is to sincerely express my point of view. I will maintain my friendship with Ukraine," Mignon said.

Source: Interfax