Following the latest worrying political developments in Ukraine, the Presidency of the European People’s Party (EPP) made the following statement:

"Without prejudice to the Ukrainian judicial authorities, the European People’s Party condemns the escalation of aggressive politically motivated pressure from Ukrainian authorities against opposition and its leader Yulia Tymoshenko. Most notably, the EPP is deeply concerned with the criminal charges made against former Prime Minister Tymoshenko by the Prosecutor General Office, including an outrageous introduction of travel ban for the Leader of the Opposition.

We consider these most recent anti-democratic developments within the broader framework of significant deterioration of political environment and democratic freedoms in Ukraine after the election of President Yanukovych. State interference in the main opposition party’s activity in the course of the local elections, manipulations and selective use of the criminal justice system aimed at political opponents and civil society activists, intimidation of journalists now supplemented by a direct cynical attack on the Leader of Opposition and her closest allies.

The EPP calls on President of Ukraine and Ukrainian authorities to finally stop their behavior that undermines fundamental democratic principles and contradicts declared European values. Regrettably, despite numerous declarations of good will, they did not adopt necessary corrective steps after our previous statements of September 13 and November 19. It is time to recognize that continuation of such anti-democratic practices could further undermine Ukraine’s European aspirations and its European perspective.

The EPP reaffirms it full and strong support to Yulia Tymoshenko, Opposition Leader and the EPP sister party Batkivshchyna".

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