However, the decision on the most complicated euro-question - Yulia Tymoshenko's case - has not been made yet. Though there are five draft bills, permitting Tymoshenko to go abroad for treatment, the MPs failed to agree on any of them. At the same time, deputies agreed on formation of a temporary working group to develop a common draft bill, and speaker Volodymyr Rybak asked MPs to hurry and submit the new draft bill by November 13 and decreed to hold an extra session.
The ruling party also does not mind to work extra, but PR faction leader Oleksandr Yefremov says that extra session will be useful only if the working group manages to work out a draft bill in time. Moreover, Yefremov also proposed Yulia Tymoshenko to appeal to the European community and ask to remove her issue from the list of requirements for signing the Association Agreement with the EU. "I think Tymoshenko should address the EU and ask to sign the Association agreement in Vilnius, to give Ukraine a historic opportunity. She is to do so, if she really loves Ukraine. Otherwise, a lot of bills will be registered, but I doubt their effectiveness," he said.
At the same time, the PR faction leader underlines that even if Ukraine does not sign the Association agreement with the European Union, the end of the world will not happen, though the historic opportunity will be lost. "If the EU believes that the fate of a state with 45-million-people population commeasures the fate of one person only, well it is their decision to take. But European politicians must pay at least a little attention to the fact that we are a state and we have our own laws. But not, they want only to release Tymoshenko," the MP pointed out.
ForUm has asked experts and politicians what the odds are for Ukraine to lose its historic opportunity because of one person, and whether the opposition and its leaders are ready to make concessions for the sake of the whole state:
Oleksandr Stoyan, MP, Party of Regions faction:
- I'll tell you what. While deciding on formation of a temporary working group, the opposition first demanded the group to include faction leaders and committee heads only for the opposition to have the majority. But when we offered a proportionate approach, they agreed immediately. Why? I think they made the first move just as a matter of form, but they realize that if the group consists of the opposition members it will have to work out a draft bill to amnesty Tymoshenko, while the ruling party representatives will insist on treatment abroad with further return to the prison. They do not really want Tymoshenko at large. Yatseniuk has his own ambitions, while Klichko has already declared his intention to run for presidency. For this they agreed on our proposition, knowing and counting on that we would never agree on her release and full rehabilitation.
As for the European integration, if the opposition wanted Ukraine in the EU it would not tie Association with Tymoshenko case. As it is, we have already adopted many laws, required by the EU.
Frankly speaking, I am very surprised that such fateful decision depends on the fate of the person, who indeed committed a crime against the people.
Volodymyr Tsybulko, political scientist:
- This week has proved once again a Ukrainian practice to adopt last-minute decisions. However, both parties have remained satisfied and it is a progress. Moreover, formation of a working group following the proportionate approach can also be considered a success. For the EU it is important that the opposition participates in the decision-making process. Thus, there is a chance that a politically viable draft bill will be finally worked out for all three parties - the ruling party, opposition and the EU - to be happy.
I also believe that despite delays and conflicts we will adopt all required laws before the Vilnius summit. The state of the world economy proves that Ukraine might not find a better partner than the EU, thus Ukrainian politicians cannot afford to lose it.
Inna Bohoslovska, MP from the Party of Regions, member of the working group on convicts' treatment abroad:
- I would prefer to refrain from comments, because everything Tymoshenko has done, she'd done against Ukraine and its people. First she signed an enslaving contract , then she called to sabotage Euro-2012, and now she obstructs the signing of the Association agreement. I don't understand how she does not see that the Association is her only chance to go free, otherwise she will serve all seven years that's for sure.
Look what the opposition does. It submits illogical norms, knowing they will never be adopted. For example, their draft bill stipulates that a norm is applied to convicts, who have been treated outside penitentiary facility for more than 365 days but have not fully recovered. What is full recovery? There is no absolutely healthy person living on this planet. Thus, the norm will cause a conflict. Then, our legislation, as any other, is based on the principle of possible appeal, but our colleagues propose to stipulate that a decision must come into force immediately upon adoption, which means it cannot be appealed. It is absurd.
It seems the opposition does not want this draft bill to be adopted. Frankly speaking, I am shocked. I thought our colleagues had a constructive stand, but their current behaviour proves otherwise.
Kost Bondarenko, president of the Institute of Ukrainian politics:
- I believe the parliament will adopt all necessary European integration laws in time. But if the EU degrades the whole European integration to the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, it will be a no-go. At the same time, I do not quite understand why someone fears the release of Tymoshenko. As a convict she will not be able to participate in the election campaign of 2015. Moreover, the President will have to face a dilemma, as he cannot do both - amnesty Tymoshenko and observe the Constitution.
Oleksandr Doniy, MP, non-factional:
- Even if the Association agreement is signed, with or without Tymoshenko's release, it does not mean true European integration. Ukraine has proved itself as unpredictable partner, which does not understand the essence of European democracy. And when we speak about ridiculousness of Ukrainian authorities and their inability to negotiate, it concerns all political elite, not only the President and parliamentary majority.
Volodymyr Makeyenko, MP (Party of Regions), head of the Regulations committee of the parliament:
- Indeed, Tymoshenko's case is very complicate, but I doubt the parliament will hold an extra session to settle it. Look how the opposition tries to solve it. In no way! It seems that the only person who cares about Yulia Tymoshenko is Yulia Tymoshenko herself. The opposition does not need her anymore, it has moved on. Tymoshenko thinks that when in Berlin she will "shred" the whole opposition for not defending her, but the opposition knows and fears this, thus obstructs the adoption of the draft bill.
What Tymoshenko should do now is to appeal to the EU and ask to remove her case from the agenda of the Vilnius summit for Ukraine to take this historic step. If she loves this state he will do so. History knows examples when even candidates for presidency withdrew their candidatures for the benefit of the state. Moreover, in 1990 the Communist faction, having the majority in the parliament, voted for Ukraine's independence. Communists knew they would lose everything - positions, opportunities, the party itself, but they voted for independence anyway, for the sake of the country...
Serhiy Sas, MP, deputy head of the "Motherland" faction:
- "Motherland" does want to release Yulia Tymoshenko and it takes certain steps to accomplish this. However, we need a compromise for all parties to be satisfied, and unless it is found the talks will continue. What we need is a political decision. Legal institutionalization is a different matter.
I am sure there are ways to fulfill all EU requirements using active legal base and not introducing some drastic amendments to the legislation, and amnesty or release for medical reasons are among them. As for the draft bills of the opposition, they have been submitted following the Cox-Kwasniewski mission to prove we take a pro-European lead.
I participate in talks on Tymoshenko, and I can neither confirm nor refute the information on that the decision-making is being dragged.
Mykhailo Chechetov, first deputy head of the Party of Regions faction:
- When foreign political analysts, especially American political scientists, ask me why we criticize the opposition or whether we do not want any opposition in Ukraine, I say the opposition should be, but it should be constructive and patriotic.
In turn I asked them what would happen if American senators came to Moscow and asked for sanctions for America. They say such senators will become political corpses immediately. But for some reasons, Ukrainian politicians can go abroad, bow to European colleagues and ask to impose sanctions on Ukraine. Remember how they asked to cancel Euro-2012 in Ukraine.
And now they take interest of one person and regard it as of paramount importance. It is another proof that the opposition cares about its problems only, but does not give a damn about country's interests, including European integration.
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