Kiev Will Free Yulia Soon, Says Official

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine will resolve the legal issue of releasing jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko for treatment in Germany no later than October, Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Rybak said.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko

The release of Tymoshenko is one of conditions imposed by the European Union for Ukraine to sign landmark agreements with the EU in November.

“We will fulfill all the conditions in October, including legal solution with the release of Yulia Tymoshenko and her treatment in Germany,” Rybak said at a security conference in Vilnius on Friday, BBC Ukraine reported on Friday.

“Finishing touches are made jointly with our European partners,” Rybak said.

“Ukraine will get ready for signing the agreements at the Vilnius summit.” 

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said the signing of the political association and free trade agreements would be the first step on the way of Ukraine’s European integration.

“We have to say that signing the agreements is only the first step on the way to its new status, qualitatively new relations with the European Union,” Grybauskaite said. 

The comments come a week after President Viktor Yanukovych said Tymoshenko could get medical treatment abroad if laws are changed to make the move legal.

The fate of Tymoshenko may be the biggest obstacle to signing the agreements between Ukraine and the European Union in November.

Ukraine on Thursday came a step closer towards signing the agreements after Parliament voted to approve the first set of required bills.

The ruling Regions Party and opposition groups joined forces in overwhelmingly supporting the bills, some in the first reading, with some bills still requiring approval from the Constitutional Court.

The bills were earlier designated by the European Union as important for Ukraine to sign the agreements at a summit in Vilnius in November.

Yanukovych and other Ukrainian officials have repeatedly said they are committed to closer integration with the EU, but have so far refused to allow Tymoshenko get treatment in Germany.

Yanukovych said most political parties in Parliament would "unite" to solve outstanding problems relating to European integration and he was optimistic that Kiev would meet criteria laid down by the EU for signing the agreements at a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The EU says agreements on association and free trade with Ukraine could be in jeopardy if Yanukovych does not free former prime minister Tymoshenko, his biggest political rival, who was jailed in October 2011.

The EU says her trial for abuse of office was political.

Source: Ukrainian Journal