Ukraine Denies OSCE Access To Jailed Ex-Premier For Third Time

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine stopped the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe from visiting jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko for the third time in as many weeks.

Walburga Habsburg Douglas

The penitentiary service denied Walburga Habsburg Douglas, vice president of the Copenhagen-based OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, access to Tymoshenko in the eastern city of Kharkov today, the OSCE said in e-mailed statement.

Habsburg Douglas is in the former Soviet state to “take the pulse“ of democracy.

“It’s unfortunate we were prevented from holding the meeting,” she said in the statement.

“The denial of our request, I hope, will draw greater attention to the deficiencies in the rule of law and democracy in Ukraine.”

Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years in October for exceeding her authority as prime minister in signing a natural-gas delivery and transit agreement with Russia in 2009.

She’s “seriously ill,” Der Spiegel reported Feb. 22, citing a report by doctors from Berlin’s Charité hospital who had examined her.

Two OSCE officials were denied a meeting with Tymoshenko two weeks ago, the human rights and security organization, based in Vienna, said today.

The European Union has delayed signing an association agreement with Ukraine that would include a free-trade pact, citing Tymoshenko’s case.

Source: Bloomberg