Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions said it will oppose a controversial bill that would allow former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to be released from prison.
On October 11, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of abuse of office for exceeding her authority in signing a 2009 gas deal with Russia, a verdict immediately condemned by both the European Union and Russia as politically motivated.
On October 6, Ukraine’s parliament passed the first reading of the bill that would reduce sentences for a number of economic crimes, but rejected an amendment decriminalizing Article 365 of the Criminal Code, which stipulates jail time for abuse of office.
Tymoshenko’s BYT-Batkyvshina party has been consistently attempting to discuss this amendment in parliament.
On Tuesday, lawmakers did not come to an agreement on the amendment and postponed any discussion on it, said BYT-Batkyvshina party's deputy head Andrei Kozhemyakin.
“We will not vote for it [if it is put for consideration],” Party of Regions leader Oleksander Yefremov said. The party’s group comprises 193 deputies, and the votes of at least 226 lawmakers from the 450-seat parliament are necessary to pass it.