Tymoshenko verdict a lose-lose for Yanukovich

By jailing former PM Yulia Tymoshenko for power abuse during gas deal negotiations with Russia, Ukrainian govt is spoling relations with Europe will failing to open talks on the gas deals.

Yevgeniy Minchenko, director of the Russian International Institute of Political Expertise told RT that Tymoshenko’s sentence of seven years imprisonment is an attempt to pressure Russia on the 2009 gas agreements. According to Minchenko, those efforts will ultimately fail.

Tymoshenko’s prosecution is more of a PR move and has no legal basis for revoking the deal, the Russian analyst said. If Ukraine had real arguments which it could bring to the Stockholm International Arbitration court, it would have already done so, he added.

The court decision against Yulia Tymoshenko, 51, means that the former darling of the opposition will be forced to compensate the enormous damage she had allegedly inflicted, while the gas deal between Russia and Ukraine will remain as it is, Minchenko said.

He added that the sentence will not affect relations between the two countries. As for the relations between Ukraine and the international community, especially the EU that will depend on whether or not Tymoshenko actually serves time in prison Minchenko said.

Here, the Ukrainian authorities face a serious dilemma: on the one hand, it wants good relations with the European Union. After all, free travel and free trade with the European bloc of nations depend on the strict observation of democratic principles.

Meanwhile, European officials have stressed that Tymoshenko and her allies should avoid prosecution. This is because the former PM and her close ally, the former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko, are the only powerful opposition politicians in Ukraine. Their prosecution will inevitably be seen as political repression both in the country and abroad.

On the other hand, Viktor Yanukovich and his cabinet may face the wrath of Tymoshenko should the former PM ever return to power.

“Yanukovich fears that Tymoshenko will settle the accounts if she wins in some distant future,” Russian political scientist Andrei Okara was quoted as saying by the Rosbalt news agency. “In this case he is acting not from personal dislike but for personal safety.”

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