WARSAW, October 31 (RIA Novosti) – The Polish foreign minister on Wednesday warned Ukraine about the possible delay in signing the association deal with the European Union if Kiev fails to fulfill all conditions, including the timely release of a jailed former premier.
Radoslaw Sikorski told the Polsat News TV that Georgia and Moldova plan to initial similar deals with the EU during this year’s summit and sign them in 2014.
“There is an alternative that the agreement with Ukraine will also be signed next year,” Poland’s top diplomat said.
Sikorski said that the release of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister and head of the opposition Fatherland party, remains uncertain to date.
Ukraine, inching closer to joining the European Union, is slated to sign an association agreement with the bloc next month. However, the European Commission’s president said last Friday that inking the deal would be postponed until Ukraine makes considerable progress in stamping out “selective justice,” including concerning Tymoshenko.
Ukrainian Justice Minister Olena Lukash replied that his country will not consider pardoning Tymoshenko until all judicial proceedings against her are completed.
In 2011, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of power over a gas contract with Russia that was determined to be financially unfavorable for Ukraine. She insisted that the charges were politically motivated.
A new case against Tymoshenko on charges of abuse of office at Ukrainian Unified Energy Systems Corporation, which she headed in the 1990s, has been pending in a Kiev court since April 2012. Hearings have been continuously postponed due to Tymoshenko suffering back problems. She has also been accused of organizing the murder of a local politician in 1996.