Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, former Minister of the Interior Yuriy Lutsenko and other Ukrainian politicians under investigation are not political prisoners, said EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle in an interview with "Kommersant-Ukraine".

"They are not political prisoners. We do not consider any of them as such," Štefan Füle said, Party of Regions press office reported.

Asked why the EU supports this view, the Commissioner replied: "And on what grounds do we have to think so? I see clear difference between problem cases in Ukraine and political prisoners in Belarus, where we recognize such a status. In Belarus their arrest was a consequence of the fact that they opposed to Lukashenka's dictatorship. In Ukraine there are questions about the quality of legislation and about the level of judicial independence. At the same time, we see that your government is making efforts to correct existing deficiencies."

Asked what Ukraine should do, Štefan Füle said: "The Ukrainian leadership a year ago proposed to implement a number of reforms, including the reform of Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code. Decriminalization of economic crimes is only a part of this process, it is not limited to."

"So we see how Kyiv is working to build a system that will be much closer to European values. In this particular case, in case of the former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, we were assured at the highest level that the Ukrainian government is aware of the complexity of the situation, its implication, understands the ambiguity of charges of ex-premier according to the articles, on which the process in her case is based now," said the Commissioner.

"We were assured that Kyiv is sincerely interested in resolving this matter. I also noted that Ukraine will have difficulties if the former prime minister and her colleagues will be sent to prison based on laws, rooted in the Soviet judicial system. By the way, if you examine the laws of EU member states, it is unlikely to find there articles, such as those Tymoshenko is being judged now," he said.

"Our position is the following: political struggle should not be carried out using the Criminal Code in any case. We believe that the final judgments about what went wrong and what is the measure of politician’s liability should be ensured by results of elections," Štefan Füle summed up.

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