16:12 06.02.2013

Lithuanian president links signing of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement with Tymoshenko, Lutsenko cases

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has stated that the imprisonment of Ukrainian opposition leaders – former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko – is politically motivated, and the protraction of the search for a solution to the problem may hinder the signing of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union.

"Europe will not dictate to Ukraine how to settle the issue. The imprisonment of opposition leaders is not a worthy decision, and that's why we are addressing the authorities to recall that further delay in a decision on these politically motivated cases might result in the further protraction of the signing of the agreement," the president said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Vilnius on Wednesday.

In turn, the Ukrainian president said that Ukraine cannot ignore the criticism due to the arrest of Tymoshenko and Lutsenko and the EU's demands to release the ex-officials.

"This is a very painful issue for us. We need some time to find answers to all of the questions. It is very important to us to make decisions within the current legislation. The political component is very important and we should think and decide how to solve the problem together with our partners," Yanukovych said.

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