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16 October, 2013 13:41   ▪  

Cox-Kwasniewski mission extended until mid-November

European Union envoys Pat Cox, former president of the European Parliament, and Aleksander Kwasniewski, former president of Poland, negotiating with Ukraine for the release of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko reported no progress Tuesday but said they would continue their efforts until mid-November, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That would be just days before Ukraine hopes to sign a major “association agreement” with the EU, at a Nov. 28-29 summit in Vilnius. European leaders have indicated that closer ties will be contingent on her release.

The envoys said they had asked Mr. Yanukovych on Oct. 4 to pardon her. But Ukrainian Justice Minister Olena Lukash said on Tuesday that “the president has no legal basis” to do so.

But Mr. Schulz, President of the European Parliament, said he is still holding out hopes for a resolution. “If there would be no chance, if we were only pessimistic, we would for sure not continue the mission,” he said.

READ ALSO: In Exile

The report comes at a crucial moment in relations between the EU and Ukraine. The association agreement would grant Ukraine more access to the lucrative European market, in exchange for Ukraine’s commitment to democratic changes.

EU foreign ministers are scheduled to discuss the Ukraine deal at a meeting on Monday and on Nov. 18, their final meeting before the Vilnius summit, the WSJ reports.

READ ALSO: Yulia’s Move


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