Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

The European Parliament is a practical institution. When majority is needed and an issue does not have to be tackled at a Plenary Session, a so called “Conference of Presidents” decides. The word conference is clear. “Presidents” are leaders of political groups. It is known how many swords they have in their scabbards. Thus, it is not difficult for the President of the European Parliament to decide at such a meeting which ideas are supported by majority and which are not. That will be the case in Strasbourg next week, when the group will meet Aleksander Kwaśniewski and Pat Cox.
Their Ukrainian mission has been going on for a few months now and the decision about its possible continuation will have to be made. If I were to take a stand for or against, my verdict would be clear – I am strongly in favour! The main argument is the fact that both men have established an effective communication channel with Ukrainian authorities, maybe the last one in such a shape. They hold meetings regularly and at each levels, with the President to begin with. They have initiated some kind of pressure to prevent “bad things” happen unexpectedly, accidentally and behind closed doors to Yulia Tymoshenko and other incarcerated politicians. It must be also noted here that during their mission a former Minister of Defence Valeriy Ivashchenko was let out of prison.
The question when Kwasniewski and Cox will make Ukrainian authorities release a former Prime Minister will remain unanswered. I doubt whether Yanukovych team wants to release her at all. On the contrary I guess, her situation is getting worse. New charges are to be filed against Yulia Tymoshenko, this time criminal ones – a contract killing. Rumours in Kyiv say that the eagerness to bring new accusation against Tymoshenko is for fear of the verdict of the European Tribunal of Human Rights in Strasbourg concerning the first sentence put on the Prime Minister over gas contracts. Ukrainian authorities announced they would respect the verdict. Therefore, they are searching for other reasons to keep her behind bars. The problem is, however, that hardly anyone in the west would believe the evidence gathered by “independent” prosecutors…
In the case where signing Association Agreement with the European Union is at stake, the mission Kwasniewski – Cox makes sense. At least till the November Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.

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