FOREIGN AFFAIRS – YULIYA TYMOSHENKO – 15 May 2012

[The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): ... Just as Britain will make full use of its unique network of partnerships, including the Commonwealth, we want the EU to use its collective weight in the world to good effect. We must continue to place pressure on the authorities in Belarus to release and rehabilitate all political prisoners and commit themselves to real reform, and we must continue to urge the Ukrainian Government to demonstrate that they respect fundamental democratic values and principles. Our Government are dismayed by the alleged mistreatment of former Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko. ...]

Dr Julian Lewis: I am delighted that the Foreign Secretary has raised the case of Yuliya Tymoshenko. What measures are the Government taking, and what representations are they making, about that appalling mistreatment and breach of someone's human rights?

[Mr Hague: We have made very clear representations about it. I have discussed the case personally with the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, and our ambassadors right across the EU have made strong representations about that case and other trials that do not appear to have followed what we would regard as due process. While the difficulties remain, the stabilisation and association agreement that has been negotiated between Ukraine and the EU is not being brought into force, so there is a standstill in progressing relations between EU countries and Ukraine. We welcome the recent developments such as the provision of medical care to Mrs Tymoshenko with the assistance of Germany, and we will continue to pursue that case and others vigorously with Ukraine. ...]