- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

Ukraine Expects No Euro 2012 Boycott – Foreign Ministry

© RIA Novosti . Igor Chekachkov / Go to the mediabankUkraine Expects No Euro 2012 Boycott
Ukraine Expects No Euro 2012 Boycott  - Sputnik International
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it does not expect a boycott of next month's Euro 2012 football championship by Western leaders to materialize.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it does not expect a boycott of next month's Euro 2012 football championship by Western leaders to materialize.

At a meeting in Brussels on Monday, European Union foreign ministers failed to reach an agreement on whether to skip the championship in protest Ukraine's treatment of jailed ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

“We had no doubts that the decision [by the EU ministers] would be as it was yesterday,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Voloshin said in a statement.

"No one was seriously speaking about a boycott, because everyone understands that by doing so, nothing can be achieved. ... Boycotting sports events in order to solve political issues is unacceptable and ineffective.”

The Polish Press Agency quoted Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski as saying that that "nobody proposed a sports boycott" and that nobody even used the word "boycott" during the Brussels talks, according to the EUobserver.com website.

But Sikorski added that EU countries were "still waiting for developments in Ukraine before deciding whether politicians from individual countries will go to games."

Western governments and Moscow have condemned the trial against Tymoshenko, who has been jailed for seven years over her role in the signing of a 2009 gas deal with Russia, as politically motivated.

Last month, Tymoshenko, a leader of the 2004 pro-democracy Orange Revolution, accused prison guards at a penal colony in the eastern city of Kharkov of beating her as they attempted to forcibly take her to a hospital for treatment. Kharkov is one of the host cities for the tournament, staging Portugal against the Netherlands, among other games.

Tymoshenko has said she is suffering from severe back pain and has been diagnosed with a herniated spinal disc.

Pictures of what appeared to be bruises on Tymoshenko’s body posted on the Internet sparked angry protests from European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who threatened to boycott the Euro 2012 football matches to be held in Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities have rejected accusations of mistreating Tymoshenko.

At Monday's meeting in Brussels, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was among those who spoke out against boycotting the championship, while EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and the foreign ministers of Belgium and Austria took a pro-boycott line, the EU Observer said.

Ashton was quoted as saying "we are very concerned about the case of Yulia Tymoshenko and ... other people treated in a similar fashion.” She added, however, that the visit of Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov to Brussels on Tuesday was an opportunity for Kiev to bury the hatchet.


To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала