Ukrainian vice-premier Timoshenko again behind bars: likely talks between authorities and opposition stop before they begin

The presidium of the Kyiv city court rescinded Friday the ruling of the Kyiv’s Pecherski district court. Instead of travel restrictions, Ukraine’s former Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko and head of the opposition Batkiwshchina (Fatherland) party is now being returned her original preventive punishment in the form of being held in custody, although she currently is being treated in one of the private hospitals. Representatives of the Batkiwshchina party assert Ms. Timoshenko’s repeat arrest has been performed at a personal order of President Kuchma. Such a development should have been anticipated, anyhow. Shortly before that, Ms. Timoshenko met with PACE representative Hanne Severinsen and made several tough public statements, in which she again insisted on President Kuchma’s resignation. While freeing her could have signified the government’s readiness to compromise, her repeat arrest may signify the government’s backdown. The fact is that the negotiations between the are again called into question. The “irreconcilable” in the Ukrainian opposition will hardly agree to talk to Mr. Kuchma while Ms. Timoshenko is under arrest.


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