Senate Pushes for Release of Ukrainian Leader Jailed Over Natural-Gas Contract

A protestor holds up an image of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
National Journal
Alex Brown
Add to Briefcase
Alex Brown
Nov. 19, 2013, 9:57 a.m.

Former Ukrain­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Yulia Ty­moshen­ko is two years in­to a sev­en-year pris­on sen­tence, but U.S. lead­ers are rais­ing ques­tions about the cir­cum­stances be­hind her im­pris­on­ment and call­ing for her re­lease to seek treat­ment for her ail­ing back.

The Sen­ate un­an­im­ously passed a res­ol­u­tion Monday call­ing on Ukrain­i­an of­fi­cials to re­lease Ty­moshen­ko, who was jailed in 2011 after ac­cus­a­tions she ab­used her power to award a nat­ur­al-gas con­tract to a Rus­si­an com­pany. “I am dis­mayed by the seem­ing in­ab­il­ity to find a reas­on­able com­prom­ise that would al­low Ms. Ty­moshen­ko to be re­leased to seek med­ic­al treat­ment abroad,” said Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who led the push for the res­ol­u­tion.

Durbin’s quote came in a re­lease that noted that nu­mer­ous “polit­ic­al and hu­man-rights groups have called the charges polit­ic­ally mo­tiv­ated and se­lect­ively pro­sec­uted and called for Ty­moshen­ko’s re­lease.”

So how did a nat­ur­al-gas con­tract land a na­tion­al lead­er in jail? In 2009, Ty­moshen­ko inked a nat­ur­al-gas sup­ply deal with Rus­sia that some felt was un­fa­vor­able to Ukraine. The former gas ex­ec­ut­ive — known as the “gas prin­cess” — came to for­tune as an ex­ec­ut­ive for a com­pany that im­por­ted Rus­si­an nat­ur­al gas to Ukraine. She was ous­ted in the 2010 elec­tions and jailed the fol­low­ing year as the coun­try’s new lead­ers ac­cused her of ab­us­ing her power to push through the deal.

Ty­moshen­ko has denied the charges, ques­tioned the in­teg­rity of the 2010 elec­tion, and al­leged she has been mis­treated while in jail. European Uni­on of­fi­cials have sug­ges­ted her con­tin­ued im­pris­on­ment could hold up trade agree­ments, and now U.S. lead­ers are say­ing the same. “Pres­id­ent Ya­nukovych should seize a his­tor­ic op­por­tun­ity for the Ukraine by free­ing former Prime Min­is­ter Yulia Ty­moshen­ko from jail, and agree­ing to a cru­cial trade and polit­ic­al agree­ment with the European Uni­on,” said Sen. Robert Men­en­dez, D-N.J.

What We're Following See More »
MODELED ON 9/11 COMMISSION
House Dems Introduce Legislation to Investigate Russian Hacking of Elections
25 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"On Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D-Calif.), a Democrat on the House intelligence committee, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the senior Democrat on the House government oversight committee, announced they were introducing legislation to create a bipartisan commission to investigate any attempt by the Russian government or persons in Russia to interfere with the recent US election. The commission they propose is modeled on the widely-praised 9/11 Commission."

Source:
$6.3 BILLION FOR RESEARCH AND OPIOIDS
Senate Sends Medical Cures Bill to Obama’s Desk
30 minutes ago
THE LATEST
DON’T WANT TO VOTE HILLARY
Colorado Electors Sue State for Right to Vote Third Party
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Two Colorado presidential electors Tuesday filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging a state law that requires them to vote for the winner of the state’s popular vote," in this case Hillary Clinton. They say they want to "vote for a third-party candidate to keep Trump from receiving 270 electoral votes," and work with other faithless electors around the country to "shift their Democratic votes to a consensus pick."

Source:
HAD CONSIDERED RUNNING FOR GUV IN 2018
Oklahoma AG Pruitt to Get the Nod for EPA Chief
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
New Hampshire Called for Hillary Clinton
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login