EU will not sign cooperation deal with Ukraine until jailed ex-PM is released
YALTA, Ukraine (AP) - Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Friday that the European Union will not sign a key cooperation deal with Ukraine until former premier Yulia Tymoshenko is released from jail, but the Ukrainian leader declined to commit to a solution.
Ms Grybauskaite, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said on Friday that Ukraine will have to implement key reforms in order to sign a cooperation deal with the EU in November, including resolving the issue of Tymoshenko, whose jailing the West condemns as politically motivated.
"Without that there will be no signature and I want to be very clear - no illusions about that something will be a little bit done," she said, speaking in English at an international conference devoted to Ukraine's efforts to integrate with the West.
Russia opposes the deal and wants to woo Kiev into a Moscow-led economic union. It recently hiked pressure on Kiev to stray away from the EU deal by temporarily halting some Ukrainian imports at its border, hitting Ukrainian companies hard.