The European Union criticized Ukraine on Monday for use of ‘selective justice’ regarding the trial of former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko, the day before a verdict is expected in her trial.
Tymoshenko, now Ukraine's leading opposition figure, faces seven years in prison on Tuesday if found guilty of exceeding her authority by signing a contract on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine without approval from her government in January 2009.
“The European Union has stated its firm stance in regard to Yulia Tymoshenko - we are against the selective use of justice,” said Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson for EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton.
“We have repeatedly called for a transparent trial in line with all procedural norms and continue expressing our concern over the development of events that we see,” she said.
Kocijancic did not say however whether the EU intends to take measures in response if it considers any future verdict on Tymoshenko unfair.
Last Thursday the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill that reduces sentences for a number of economic crimes, but rejected amendments that would have allowed Tymoshenko to avoid prison.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said in an interview with Greek newspaper Ethnos tis Kyriakis that he has no interest in the Tymoshenko trial and the verdict in the case.
“This issue does not interest me at all,” Yanukovych said, adding he is currently more interested in the issue of his country’s cooperation with Russia in the natural gas sphere.
President Yanukovych has faced strong Western criticism over the trial, which Tymoshenko and her supporters have described as "politically motivated."