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Bildt in bid to free Tymoshenko

Bildt in bid to free Tymoshenko

Published: 22 Nov 2011 07:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Nov 2011 07:40 GMT+01:00

Relations between the European Union and Ukraine have soured since Tymoshenko's jailing and Sweden is to join forces with Poland in a new bid to get her free and ease tensions.

Bildt and his Polish counterpart, Radoslaw Sikorski, are to meet Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, to try to put pressure on President Viktor Yanukovich to bring about the release of his political rival, Reuters reported.

The trio are set to meet at a Champions League football match in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday.

Tymoshensko, who is a former prime minister, was sentenced to seven years in prison in October on charges of abusing her office.

She remains in custody pending appeal and maintains that the charges are a result of a political vendetta.

The EU has dismissed the trial of Tymoshenko as a having a political motive and issued warnings that Ukraine progress towards a closer partnership with the union has been put in jeopardy.

Bildt confirmed on his blog that he is to travel to Ukraine to watch the match at the new Donetsk stadium.

"But if the truth be known it is not football which is the main purpose of the trip, but to take the temperature of the political development in this important part of Ukraine," Bildt wrote.

The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

12:29 November 22, 2011 by zircon
Here is where the lights go off for me. Too dark/ black, far and no access to ordianary members of society. But one thing is clear, you have to believe in the people being elected that for some reason they are intelligent and capable of ruling in government. If they were ordinary and stupid, why would they be in power? I'm afraid try undoing what judges have decided is a bit off at this point. Maybe the devil is the de- tail after all?
14:27 November 22, 2011 by Frank Arbach
I think the problem was that many, certainly the US and EU for example, saw this trial as politically motivated.

But - yes: let Ukraine choose its leaders and legal system, as long as they realise that if their arrangements are not seen as being up to EU standards, Ukraine won't be allowed to join
17:27 November 22, 2011 by ks.wasa
2zircon: "If they were ordinary and stupid, why would they be in power?" because they have enough money to be in power.

2Frank Arbach: this trial was political.

In my opinion, Ukrainians don't have a chance to "choose its leaders and legal system". They can only face the reality.
18:50 November 22, 2011 by zircon
This is Europe, the electorate is chosing it's leaders. And fraud is a very serious crime.
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