PACE rapporteurs welcome release of former Defence Minister Ivashchenko
Strasbourg, 16.08.2012 – The co-rapporteurs for Ukraine of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Mailis Reps (Estonia, ALDE) and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin (Sweden, EPP/CD) welcomed the release on Tuesday of Valeriy Ivaschenko, who was acting Defence Minister in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko. At the same time, they expressed their hope that his release would soon be followed by that of Juriy Lutsenko and Yulia Timoshenko whose ongoing detention is of concern to the Assembly.
“Mr Ivashchenko’s release is an important first step to resolve the issue of the imprisoned former government members in line with the expectations of the Assembly expressed in Resolution 1862 (2012) ,” said the co-rapporteurs. “We hope that his release will now soon be followed by that of Mr Lutsenko and Ms Timoshenko, whose continued detention is hampering Ukraine’s further European integration and casting a shadow over the preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Ukraine,” they added.
Noting President Yanukovich’s wish to have the court proceedings take their course before any political intervention, they stressed that the court hearings for Mr Lutsenko, and especially Ms Timoshenko, should not be delayed indefinitely. “We reiterate our call for President Yanukovich to resolve this issue politically, especially if the courts are unable the hear the appeals of these two persons in the very near future. For the sake of Ukraine’s European integration and democratic development, Ms Timoshenko and Mr Lutsenko should be released before the elections take place, even if their appeals proceedings are still ongoing,” emphasised the co-rapporteurs.
The PACE Monitoring Committee will discuss the political developments in Ukraine during its next meeting in Paris on 4 September 2012.