5 July 2012 - NATO PA PRESIDENT CONCLUDES VISIT TO UKRAINE
NATO Parliamentary Assembly President, Dr Karl A. Lamers (Germany), has just concluded an official visit to Ukraine, where he visited former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Kharkiv before meeting with Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Volodymyr Lytvyn, and other government and opposition representatives in Kyiv and Kharkiv.
“I was deeply moved by my visit to Yulia Timoshenko in the hospital. Despite her obvious health problems, she remains as spiritually strong and as determined as ever. I am convinced, however, that her recovery would be greatly facilitated if she could be treated in an independent environment. While the quality of medical care available is excellent she is unwilling to undergo some procedures in an atmosphere of mistrust and intrusive surveillance,” said Lamers. “I therefore reiterated Germany’s standing offer to provide treatment in Germany. She welcomed this and she confirmed that it is important for her to return to the homeland she loves – even to a prison cell – as soon as her health is restored”.
In the following meetings with Ukrainian government representatives, Dr Lamers stressed the necessity of Tymoshenko’s treatment in an environment of confidence.
He emphazised that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly is firmly committed to its long-standing relationship with the Verkhovna Rada, and that Ukraine’s deep and extensive cooperation with NATO was highly appreciated. Noting the forthcoming 15th anniversary of the NATO-Ukraine Charter, Dr Lamers said: “We all acknowledge Ukraine’s invaluable contribution to NATO operations, ranging from KFOR to ISAF and soon to include Ocean Shield and the NATO Response Force. This extensive practical cooperation continues, even though Ukraine is no longer aspiring to NATO membership.”
“Nevertheless, as a friend of Ukraine, I am deeply concerned by the trials and incarceration of members of the former government. Questions are being asked about the Criminal Code, the selective application of justice, the independence of the judiciary. These concerns have been expressed by many international bodies, most recently exemplified in a judgment by the European Court of Human Rights.”
“Ukraine and its people rightly gained widespread international admiration for the hosting of the EURO 2012 championship. We fear that all this good will could be eroded by what is seen as Ukraine’s government’s departure from common European democratic values. We would like to see Ukraine’s renewed commitment to these values. The first step in this direction could be a humanitarian gesture in Mrs Tymoshenko’s case.”