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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

The parliament gathered to break up

“Neither the government, nor the opposition is interested in Tymoshenko as a politician”
24 October, 2013 - 10:27
Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day

The focus of “Tymoshenko problem” has moved to the Verkhovna Rada. Certainly, this question is being solved at the top level: not without reason the European guests frequently visit Viktor Yanukovych. On October 21 the Polish and Swedish Ministers of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski and Karl Bildt canceled their meeting with the students of the Institute of Journalism at Shevchenko Kyiv National University in order to urgently meet the president. However, the regulatory tools are at the disposal of the parliament at the moment. This is the way suggested by the Ukrainian authorities in the negotiations with the EU representatives. What is it about?

The Verkhovna Rada is supposed to amend the domestic legislation in order to allow convicts to leave the country for a certain period of time for treatment. By date, several bills have been registered in the parliament. Non-faction deputy Anzhelika Labunska, is the author of one of them. The alternative projects were also suggested by a non-faction deputy Serhii Mishchenko and a member of the faction of the Party of Regions, socialist Mykola Rudkovsky (who later withdrew his bill). Mishchenko’s bill has been approved by the MPs from the Party of Regions. The leader of the faction of the Party of Regions Oleksandr Yefremov claimed that this document can be adopted as the basic one. However, the main task which is searching a compromise between the government and the opposition is ahead.

The opposition shares the position of the Europeans, which is partial pardon for Tymoshenko. This decision was suggested by Cox-Kwasniewski mission. The idea is to reduce the term of imprisonment from seven years to three years and a half and since Tymoshenko has already served more than a half of the reduced term there is every reason for her release on parole. The former prime mister will also have to pay a fine of about 200 million dollars, will be deprived of civil rights for three years and thus will not be able to run for presidency. According to the head of the faction Batkivshchyna Arsenii Yatseniuk, Tymoshenko accepts the partial pardon. However, Viktor Yanukovych “is putting off the solution of this question.” “The opposition is looking for any variant to make the electors believe that they are fighting for Tymoshenko,” political expert Kostiantyn Matviienko commented to The Day. “However, partial pardon, pardon, and going abroad do not give her a possibility to run for presidency. So, Tymoshenko will remain a brand but not a political player. Neither the government, nor the opposition is interested in Tymoshenko as a politician. They are aspiring at becoming a brand themselves.”

“The way the Europeans are pushing Ukraine to sign the Association Agreement makes me think the EU have made their choice and want to sign the agreement,” the expert continued. “It is equally important for the EU and for Ukraine. As for me, ‘Tymoshenko question’ can be solved not only by treatment or pardon, there is one more variant: they might adopt some formal act in the first reading, for example the law on the treatment abroad. It will be presented to Europe that will hypocritically take it as a step on the way of solving the problem. Thus they will sign the agreement meaning that ‘Tymoshenko question’ is progressing and then will start playing as the agreement has to be ratified by 28 countries (the free trade area will come into force without ratification). This process might be endless as both parties need it. However, as a result ordinary Ukrainians will lose.”

By Ivan KAPSAMUN, The Day