Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov should not come to Brussels for a meeting of the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council on May 15, due to the situation surrounding the sentencing of West-leaning ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said on Wednesday in n interview with Euronews.

"The Prime Minister of Ukraine announced he would come to Brussels, we said: ‘Stay home!’ It is a clear signal from our side that they have to change inside Ukraine. Ukraine was a model of democracy in 2004 and it has to become that once again,” the official said.

In response to the question why not visit Ukraine, meet its government and ask difficult questions instead of boycotting Euro 2012 Herman Van Rompuy: “I was in Kiev with President Barroso in December and we discussed this for hours with President Yanukovych. We initiated an association agreement with Ukraine, giving them a European perspective but we did not ratify it explicitly, why? Because we say we can only ratify it if you comply to our values because an association agreement is not only about trade, it is also a political agreement and so the way Ukraine is dealing with the former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, is just unacceptable. We have said this very clearly, very clearly to President Yanukovych."

Rompuy said he does not have plans to go to the Euro 2012 tournament, following the similar decisions by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding.

"I will not attend the tournament because there is no European team and Belgium has not qualified. But in any case, we can give a very strong political message," he specified.


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