Putin Wants to Treat Tymoshenko, Slams Euro 2012 Boycott

World | May 3, 2012, Thursday // 19:05| Views: | Comments: 6
Bulgaria: Putin Wants to Treat Tymoshenko, Slams Euro 2012 Boycott Russian PM Vladimir Putin (left) and then Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko (right) signing a compromise deal with Ukraine on the thorny issue of gas supply in December 2009, for which Tymoshenko was sent to jail later. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin responded Thursday to calls for a boycott of the Euro 2012 football championship in Ukraine over the case of jailed ex PM Yulia Tymoshenko by saying that sport and politics should not mix.

Putin also expressed Russia's readiness to accept "with pleasure" Tymoshenko for medical treatment, should the Ukrainian authorities agree.

Tymoshenko has been sentenced to seven years in jail for abuse of power for making a natural gas supply contract with Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after the 2009 Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis, which is said to have been unfavorable for Ukraine. The jailed ex Prime Minister claims that her political rival, President Viktor Yanukovych, is using the country's judiciary to punish her.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly threatened last week to ban her ministers from attending games in Ukraine, while European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has vowed to stay away amid concerns about the treatment of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, RIA Novosti reminds.

"In absolutely every case, you can't mix politics, business and other issues with sport," Putin said when asked about the dispute at his residence outside Moscow.

"I stick to the principle professed and supported by the International Olympic Committee – sport is outside politics."

Poland is playing co-host with Ukraine for the Euro 2012 tournament, which begins June 8 and is considered one of Europe's most prestigious sporting events.

Former Prime Minister Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of office, after what she claims was a politically motivated trial. Photographs last week appeared to show bruising on her body after she claimed that she had been beaten in jail.

In Poland, which is co-hosting the tournament with Ukraine, the political classes are split over the question of a boycott.

Earlier Monday, Polish opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski called for a boycott of matches in Ukraine to protest the treatment of the country's imprisoned opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko.

Kaczynski suggested that games should be moved from Ukraine, although UEFA tournament director Martin Kallen appeared to rule this out in comments Monday.

The comments put Kaczynski, head of the opposition Law and Justice party, at odds with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, who said a boycott was "inappropriate" in comments on Polish television Wednesday.

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Tags: Yulia Tymoshenko, EU, EC, European Commission, European Union, Euro 2012, Jose Manuel Barroso, Kiev, boycott, Poland, EC President, Russia, gas crisis, 2009, gas war, Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister
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» To the forumComments (6)
bogomil - 4 May 2012 // 22:59:23

Likesay, Euro 2012 is for football fans, not fat-ass EU hypocrites.
Yulia the Gas Princess is to go on trial this month for tax evasion, and should receive an additional 5-7 years, which is justice served after she robbed Ukraine blind..
Her herniated disc can be operated on anywhere, or not at all.. I should know, as I have one..
Many sick people in Ukraine prisons, not just this spoiled bitch..

sa-sha - 4 May 2012 // 11:55:09

(1)"Putin's Machiavellian genius" is his soft hint to Yanukovich: to accuse Yulya on gas contract with Russia is the idiocy. Standard contract, standard terms & conditions, everything in full compliance with the existing practice, normes & laws.
(2) Yulya-the-foX (what on earth 'foE'!?) is to be charged, sure, but
for her other "heroic deeds".
(3)"For any educated westerner" must be clear: EC & its high level officials' play is not fair. It smells. Yes, Euro 2012 is not Olympics. But
it's to the point to remind one of the IOC' fundamental principles:
"Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, sex or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement". Though it will hardly help.
Invincible confidence in the self rightness makes the leaders & the adepts of "Western Democracy" related with the inflexible Soviet
marxists-leninists. Just the twins. Toast.

Bucharest12 - 4 May 2012 // 10:02:00

Putin's message might be relevant for his countrymen showing who the "better man" is, but for any educated westerner it is rather a sign of fear over a new cold war because the Yalta boycot is reminiscent of the Los Angeles and Moscow olympics. I am glad that my Romanian officials (president and ministers) joined the EC comissioners, Merkel and the other EU high level officials who won't attend the event. The Orange Revolution winners didnt inprison Ukrainian expresident Kuchma for alleged murder of Georgiy Gongadze but todays politicians in Kyiev are convicting an ex prime minister over coruption charges (in the otherwise coruption free Ukr, come on :)

Pantudi - 4 May 2012 // 09:57:29

@ poshrat,

"Putin's... genius..."

Must be his KGB training

bogomil - 4 May 2012 // 09:25:38

Although Ukraine & Russia don't exactly have friendly relations, Mr Putin's statement was that politics has no place in a sporting event.. This was also Ukraine's statement..
The London Olympics are catering to the fat-cats, but Euro 2012 is for real football fans, not EU/EC pencil-pushers..

mrposhrat - 4 May 2012 // 04:09:29

You've got to admire Putin's Machiavellian genius: How to be extremely pernicious towards a rather elegant and delightful foe, without getting the blame for it!?

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