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14 May, 2013 11:20   ▪  

Bruce Rickerson: ruling on Tymoshenko must not derail EU-Ukraine ties

The future course of Ukraine as a bridge between Europe and Russia is of crucial importance to both sides, Bruce M. Rickerson who formerly served in a professional capacity with the Organization of American States, the U.S. Department of State, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee writes in his opinion for UPI.

“The European Union stands on the edge of a decision that may have profound implications for the continent and on relations between the European Union and Russia, not to mention the United States. What will the European Union decide? And in particular, will that decision be made on the basis of the fate of one famous individual? Of all the countries to emerge from the former communist bloc, the most important (besides, obviously, Russia) is Ukraine. The future course of the so-called "borderland" (which is what "Ukraine" means) as a bridge between Europe and Russia is of crucial importance to both sides,” Rickerson highlights.

“It appears that at least some in Europe are prepared to insist on Tymoshenko's release as a take-it-or-leave-it demand to Kiev. In particular, Wilfried Martens, head of the Center-Right

“European People's Party” bloc in the European Parliament, has said he and his aligned parliamentarians will support the offer “only if the Ukrainian authorities fulfill the conditions put forward by the European Union, including the end of selective justice and the immediate release of Yulia Tymoshenko.”

Some countries, notably Poland, Sweden, and other key participants in the European Union's "Eastern Partnership," want the offer made despite Tymoshenko's continued imprisonment.

As the European Union and member governments consider their next move, it's important for them to consider the relative weight of Tymoshenko versus the European Unions interest in Ukraine,” he claims. 

READ ALSO: The Tymoshenko Factor

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