House of Lords written question – answered on 26 October 2011.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko.

Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The UK is deeply concerned at the conviction of Ms Tymoshenko, as my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary set out in his press statement on 11 October 2011.

Independent, international experts monitoring several Ukrainian court cases, including Ms Tymoshenko's, have found that the judicial process has not been independent, transparent or fair.

The UK supports Ukraine's aspiration eventually to join the EU. If it fails to apply the rule of law objectively and impartially, Ukraine will not qualify for EU membership. The handling of the cases against Ukrainian opposition figures has exposed the extent to which Ukraine is lagging behind EU standards and expectations in the areas of democracy and the rule of law. More immediately, Ms Tymoshenko's sentence could put in jeopardy the signature and ratification of the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).

We continue to monitor the situation closely and to use every opportunity to urge the Ukrainian authorities to respect EU standards.

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