Ukraine stalls decision on Tymoshenko release

Under pressure from EU to release former PM or face exclusion from bloc, legislators say will take vote by end of week.

    Ukraine stalls decision on Tymoshenko release
    Supporters of jailed former prime minister scattered leaflets calling for her release [Reuters]

    The Ukrainian parliament has again stalled a vote on the release of jailed ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, demanded by the European Union as a key condition for signing a landmark integration deal with the country.

    Parliament speaker Volodymyr Rybak told legislators on Tuesday that the bill would not be put to a vote during the morning session. The opposition kept pushing for a vote either on Tuesday or Thursday.

    Tymoshenko, a top rival of President Viktor Yanukovych, is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges the West calls political. The EU is refusing to sign the association agreement with Ukraine if Tymoshenko remains in jail.

    As a compromise, the EU has asked Ukraine's parliament, dominated by Yanukovych allies, to pass a law allowing Tymoshenko's release for a medical treatment in Germany.

    EU envoys are attending the parliamentary session, but with the delay, it is possible that no firm decision either way on Tymoshenko, internationally renowned as the braided-haired co-leader of Ukraine's Orange Revolution protests against electoral fraud nine years ago, will emerge until the end of the week.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    Unification: Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem

    We explore how Salah Ed-Din unified the Muslim states and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from the crusaders.