Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to 7 years for abuse of office and inflicting nearly $200mln of damage to the state.
Tymoshenko’s lawyers were about to appeal the ruling when the ex prime minister faced a new lawsuit. In the 1990s, Urkaine’s Unified Energy Systems, headed by Yulia Tymoshenko, owed the Russian Defense Ministry $405mln but Tymoshenko allegedly put the debt on the country’s budget.
Political analysts and ordinary people in Ukraine say that the Tymoshenko case is a political, not economic, one. For President Yanukovich, Tymoshenko is a major political foe of the past and the main rival in the present. The EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton has warned about her intention of reviewing EU policies regarding Ukraine depending on Kiev’s handling of the Tymoshenko case.
Yulia Tymoshenko counts on the European Court of Human Rights.
Russia needs stable neighbors.. “Russia will gain nothing from Ukraine being in conflict with the EU..The court ruling is unlikely to affect gas relations between Russia and Ukraine.Even if Tymoshenko signed these contracts in order to throw her rivals out of the lucrative gas projects, it is Ukraine’s domestic issue which has nothing to do with Russia.”
President Viktor Yanukovich called for decriminalizing economic crimes. He said that Ukraine’s legislation doesn’t meet European requirements and that Tymoshenko’s action should no longer be considered a criminal offense. Those amendments to Ukraine’s Criminal Code could be considered by parliament on October 18th .