Ukraine To Host Euro 2012 Despite Boycott Threats: President

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said Monday that the Euro 2012 Soccer Championship will take place in Ukraine despite announcements and threats to boycott the event by several European countries to protest against the alleged maltreatment of the former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Viktor Yanukovych

"I am confident that the European Championship will take place in Ukraine. Politics is politics, but life is life," Yanukovych told reporters during the opening ceremony of the new terminal in Donetsk International Airport on eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine shares the concern of the international community over the situation with Tymoshenko, Yanukovych said, adding that some European politicians' comments on this issue are "distressing" for Ukraine.

Giving a progress details on the Euro 2012 preparations, Yanukovych said Ukraine's infrastructure is completely ready to host the tournament, which starts on June 8.

Tymoshenko, 51, Ukraine's main opposition leader, who is serving a seven-year sentence for corruption, claims she was assaulted by prison guards in jail in Kharkov city, one of the Euro 2012 venues.

Her reportedly maltreatment has sparked a number of calls for a boycott of Euro 2012, which Ukraine will co-host with Poland this summer.

Source: Xinhua