President Yanukovych stated – quite unambiguously two days ago – “I see no obstacles to signing this accord. The conditions set forth by the EU Commission will be met.”
For many EU member states, not to mention the European People’s Party within the European Parliament, the most publicised issue of them all is the end to “selective justice” – namely the release of Yulia Tymoshenko.
That is not to say she alone sits in a Ukrainian prison due to “selective justice” – many do, albeit they are obviously lesser mortals – many such incarcerated when she was Prime Minister. Likewise, many who should be sat in a Ukrainian jail are not – selected not to face justice, as much today as when Yulia Tymoshenko was Prime Minister.
She is nothing more than a high profile symptom of a much larger and long lasting problem – a problem in which, to the cold and impartial observer, she cannot be absolved just because she became a victim herself.
Anyway, how to interpret Yanukovych’s words when he is acutely aware that the Tymoshenko issue is perceived as the biggest single obstacle to any signing? In stating “The conditions set forth by the EU Commission will be met” there seems to be a robust inference that Tymoshenko will indeed be freed imminently.
If that is so, then it will surely occur in September, prior to a final preparatory EU meeting in October relating to Ukraine, ahead of the Vilnius Summit in November. Ergo, it follows that prior to that October EU meeting all the Ukrainian ducks need to be lined up in a row both legislatively and in relation to Tymoshenko.
A while ago, prior to the recent quoted statement by President Yanukovych, I was told by a fairly trusted and reliable source that Tymoshenko would be released on or around 15th September. (Chatham House Rule applies to the source.) Whether that date proves to be correct or not, now seems rather irrelevant taking into consideration what President Yanukovych said publicly.
The questions that follow therefore, relate to whether Ms Tymoshenko will still be headed for Germany, how long before she miraculously recovers within a time frame that would shock the medical profession for somebody with her condition, and most importantly post Vilnius, how long before she strains an already fractious opposition pact to the point of breaking?
The question has to be asked just who her early release will hurt the most? The current President, or the grubby little deals struck within the all boys club that is the current opposition leadership trinity – most if not all of these deals are likely to be thrown out of the window at her earliest opportunity?
Whilst there maybe light at the end of the tunnel for Ms Tymoshenko – does that same tunnel now contain an on-coming train for the current opposition agreement? Who most needs to derail her comeback?