Yulia Tymoshenko has warned of dangerous trends in the political situation in Ukraine, including the introduction of censorship, human rights abuses, government persecution of political opponents and lack of political competition.

"The political situation in Ukraine has changed radically. The country is moving towards authoritarianism," Yulia Tymoshenko said today during a meeting with Mevlut Cavusoglu, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

"Even in recent weeks we have new evidence that points to a significant setback in democracy in Ukraine, including the scandalous end to the Gongadze case, two television channels being deprived of their frequencies, and an environment in which it is impossible to hold fair elections," said Yulia Tymoshenko.

She believes the PACE Monitoring Committee must provide an assessment of events in Ukraine. "For our country to become a member of the EU and return to a democratic course the people of Ukraine need the Monitoring Committee’s report to reflect the current realities."

Mevlut Cavusoglu underscored that the opposition’s views on problems in Ukraine are important for PACE and announced that its co-rapporteurs will soon visit the country. "Our co-rapporteurs will visit Ukraine next week and their report on the state of democracy in Ukraine will be debated during the Assembly’s plenary session in October," he said.

The PACE President also suggested the Yulia Tymoshenko meet with the PACE Monitoring Committee’s co-rapporteurs next week.

Yulia Tymoshenko thanked Mevlut Cavusoglu for including Ukraine on the agenda for the PACE session, noting the added importance of the visit by their representatives.

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