European People’s Party President Wilfried Martens has issued a statement condemning the opening of a court case against Yulia Tymoshenko over gas agreements signed between Ukraine and Russia in January 2009, which were positively assessed by the European Commission, Tymoshenko's official website reported.

"This latest move of consecutive court cases against Yulia Tymoshenko is, once again, politically motivated in a concerted effort by President Yanukovych to intimidate and suppress the democratic opposition in Ukraine."

"I am also very concerned with President Yanukovych's intention to change the Ukrainian constitution in a non-transparent manner, moving Ukraine further away from basic EU norms and values. Any changes in the country's constitution must correspond to European democratic standards and strengthen the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. I also note the rumours on ngo legislation and underline the importance of freedom of association as well as opportunities for international cooperation."

"Recalling all previous EPP declarations and on behalf of the EPP, I will continue to follow very closely the developments in Ukraine and react accordingly. Moreover, I reiterate my full support to Batkivshchyna and its leader Yulia Tymoshenko and I look forward to meeting her in our next Enlarged EPP Summit in Brussels."

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