Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Questions (32, 82, 83)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

32. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his position in relation to the case of former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Ms Yulia Tymoshenko; the steps that are being taken with colleagues at international level to negotiate the release of Ms Tymoshenko. [41058/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

82. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which the international community continues to monitor the observation of their human rights entitlements by the authorities in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41382/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

83. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which the international community continues to engage with the authorities in the Ukraine with a view to ensuring the human rights entitlement in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41383/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 32, 82 and 83 together.

I am on record in Dáil expressing concern over the ongoing detention of the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko and refer the Deputy to my statement of 26 June last. I raised the matter most recently with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Leonid Kozhara, during our bilateral meeting last week on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Concerns repeatedly expressed by Ireland and its EU partners were reinforced by the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on 30 April 2013, which ruled that Ms Tymoshenko had been unlawfully detained. As the Deputy is aware, High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Stefan Füle issued a joint statement in response to this judgment, which urged the Ukrainian authorities to reconsider Ms Tymoshenko’s imprisonment and to implement fully all rulings of the ECHR. I fully support this statement.

The EU’s position is as set out in the Conclusions of the 10 December 2012 Foreign Affairs Council and in the joint statement of the EU-Ukraine Summit of 25 February 2013: that Ukraine must address convincingly three key areas including the issue of selective justice if progress is to be made towards signature of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius in November. While Ukraine has taken some positive steps since, including the release of former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko in April, Ireland would very much like to see further progress made by the Ukrainian authorities that would make signature of the Association Agreement possible, including, crucially, on the issue of selective justice. A positive step on Ms Tymoshenko’s imprisonment would be extremely helpful and send a powerful signal in that regard.

The European Parliament’s monitoring mission to Ukraine, which is led by the former President of Poland, Aleksander Kwaniewski, and the former President of the European P arliament, Pat Cox, has been engaging actively with the Ukrainian authorities to resolve all areas where the EU has expressed concern, including the area of selective justice. The monitoring mission met with Ms Tymoshenko last month and is expected to report to the European Parliament later this month.