EU Puts Pressure on Ukraine Over Tymoshenko

KIEV — Foreign ministers of several EU countries gave Ukraine a discouraging report on Thursday on its efforts to deepen ties with the bloc and suggested that the jailing of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko remained a serious obstacle.

They said agreements on free trade and political association with the European Union were being stymied in particular by cases of "selective justice," a term used by the West to describe the prosecution of rival politicians, including former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, under President Viktor Yanukovich.

Ukraine hopes to sign the deals at a summit in Vilnius in November. But Brussels has made it conditional on Kiev passing a number of legal reforms and addressing Western criticism of its justice and electoral systems.

"The stakes are very high and time is very short," Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told reporters in Kiev on Thursday after meeting Yanukovich together with his colleagues from Lithuania, Denmark and the Netherlands.

(Reuters)