Ukraine’s ambitions to join the EU were expected to take a big step forward this week during a visit by President Viktor Yanukovic to Brussels.
But relations between the two sides have been so severely strained by the jailing of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko that the trip has been postponed.
Olzhas AuyezovKIEV (Reuters) - Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's career is a long series of big -- and mostly successful -- political wagers. But luck appears to have abandoned her when she made the last one -- brokering a 2009 gas deal with Russia.
Tuesday, a Ukrainian court sentenced the 50-year-old to seven years in prison for abusing her power in forcing through the gas deal which her opponents say saddled Ukraine with an exorbitant price for gas.
Tymoshenko, the fiercest foe of President Viktor Yanukovich, has denied any wrongdoing. She has accused Yanukovich of carrying out a political vendetta against her, a view shared by many in the West.
However, while expressing concern over what they see as a politically-motivated trial, Western diplomats have stressed they did not consider Tymoshenko a saint.