James Sherr, a scholar in the Russia and Eurasia Program at Chatham House, says Ukraine may try to use the case to review its gas agreements with Russia – the agreements President Yanukovich himself approved earlier.
“To say that the agreements that Yulia Tymoshenko entered into in 2009 – or into one contract and then [subsequently] a supplementary agreement – to say they were illegal is utterly bizarre, because President Yanukovich confirmed the validity of these agreements when he concluded the Kharkov Accords with President Medvedev in April 2010,” Sherr told RT. “He affirmed the validity of the accords that Yulia Tymoshenko concluded with Prime Minister Putin. So, this is one of many absurdities in this whole drama unfolding.”
“There is an anti-Russian subtext, because they are trying to find maximum justification for forcing an alteration of the gas agreements,” Sherr added.
The head of the European Geopolitical Forum, Marat Terterov, agrees.
“In many ways, this verdict is somewhat of a slap in the face for Moscow from Kiev, because in essence what you are saying by adjudicating this to be a criminal case by a former legitimate Ukrainian prime minister – you are actually saying that the legitimate governing institutions of Ukraine in January 2009 were not, actually, legitimate,” he explained. “That’s actually saying quite a lot, I think, from Kiev to its bigger brother in the north.”
This case, Terterov concluded, demonstrates how different the Ukrainian political culture is from that of the West, with politicians resorting to revenge against their previous political opponents.