The United States is deeply disappointed with the conviction and sentencing of former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko through a politically motivated prosecution. The charges against Mrs. Tymoshenko and the conduct of her trial, as well as the prosecution of other opposition leaders and members of the preceding government, have raised serious concerns about the Government of Ukraine’s commitment to democracy and rule of law.
The United States strongly supports the goal of the Ukrainian people to become a democratic and prosperous European state, and we remain dedicated to strengthening bilateral cooperation based on shared values and shared interests. Democracies are built on checks and balances, fair and impartial institutions, judicial independence, sound election laws, and an independent media and civil society. Ukraine, however, cannot reach this goal without redoubled efforts to protect and advance democracy and the rule of law for all its citizens.
For these reasons, the United States urges the release of Mrs. Tymoshenko and the other political leaders and former government officials. They should have an unrestricted ability to participate fully in political life, including next year’s parliamentary elections.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.