In the presence of EU enlargement commissioner stefan fule, a new attempt to introduce a law on the detention of ex-head of government tymoshenko in germany failed in the parliament in kiev.
The EU and especially merkel had called on ukraine to take clear steps so that an agreement on closer cooperation and free trade could be signed next week in vilnius. The west has warned time and again that ukraine has only a few days left to meet the EU’s conditions for the association agreement.
The release of timoshenko, sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of office, is one of these demands. The head of the ukrainian parliament, vladimir rybak, said that the top rada would now make another attempt on thursday. The representatives of the opposition around boxing world champion vitali klitschko and the ruling party of the regions accused each other of sabotaging the conclusion of the agreement with the eu.
The opposition appeared in parliament wearing T-shirts bearing a portrait of tymoshenko. Klitschko’s followers wore red sweaters with the inscription "we are europe", tymoshenko’s batkivshchina (fatherland) party members wore sweaters with the inscription "freedom for ukraine".
There are several drafts of a law on the table that would allow timoshenko to be treated in a german clinic. However, the factions could not agree on the conditions for such a detention leave. Klitschko accused the power camp around president viktor yanukovich of jeopardizing the country’s pro-western course out of fear of his arch-enemy. "It seems that the government is trying to get rid of european integration," said klitschko.
The pro-western forces want the agreement with the EU in order to break away from the close relationship with the dominant neighbor russia and to modernize the impoverished country. Kremlin leader vladimir putin threatened ukraine to cancel all trade benefits if the agreement was signed.
Russian eagle minister sergei lavrov accused the eu of a "unilateral" enlargement policy. The eu’s eastern partnership program is in the spirit of "old geopolitical power games" and is not aimed at cooperation. The EU had always stressed that the partnership projects in the post-soviet space were not directed against russia. In addition to ukraine, the EU’s "eastern partnership" also includes the ex-soviet republics of moldova and belarus, as well as georgia, armenia and azerbaijan in the south caucasus.