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Ukraine (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - August 20, 2012)

Q : On Friday, Ukrainian opposition leader Yuri Lutsenko was sentenced to 2 years in prison without parole, in addition to the 4-year term of imprisonment already imposed on him in April. In June, the European Court of Human Rights recognized the political nature of the persecution against him. After making the decision not to send an official representative to Ukraine during the European Football Championship in June, is France considering sanctions against the Ukrainian leaders? Would you like this issue to be discussed among the European countries after the summer break with a view toward coordinated action?

A : We deplore the new sentence handed down to Mr. Lutsenko, which only serves to confirm the concerns already expressed by France and its European partners with respect to the blatantly unfair and politically motivated trials targeting Yulia Tymoshenko as well as several former Ukrainian leaders who joined the opposition.

We again urge Ukraine to put an end to the arbitrary administration of the justice system and to comply with the principles of the rule of law and its international obligations. Further rapprochement with the European Union, and notably the signing of the EU-Ukraine association agreement, can only be possible on this basis.

This is the message we’re sending to Ukraine, together with our European partners, notably in light of the parliamentary elections due to take place in the country this fall.


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