European Union postpones talks with Ukraine


Ukraine's former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko speaks during her trial in Kiev on July 15, 2011.


Sergei Supinsky

The European Union canceled a meeting with the Ukraine president after he rejected calls from Western capitals to release jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The meeting, scheduled for Thursday, with President Viktor Yanukovych, were postponed when he indicated on Monday that he wouldn't free his main political rival and was prepared for a pause in talks on closer political and trade ties, WSJ reports.

The meeting was intended to seal an EU-Ukraine agreement on trade and aid, the Telegraph reports.

Read more at GlobalPost: Putin disagrees with Tymoshenko's sentence

"If Europe is not ready for this for whatever reason, or if Ukraine is not ready, then the decision can be made later," Yanukovych said, WSJ reports. Yanukovych met Tuesday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for talks on economic ties, WSJ reports.

A spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Tuesday that the meeting is postponed until conditions become more conducive to making progress in bilateral relations, Voice of America reports.

Read more at GlobalPost: Video: Tymoshenko jailed for seven years

Medvedev attempted to drive a wedge between the EU and Ukraine by taking sides against Brussels on Tuesday, the Telegraph reports. "This is an internal affair of Ukraine," said President Medvedev following talks with Mr Yanukovych over a new gas pricing deal, the Telegraph reports. "I proceed from a recognition of Ukraine's sovereignty in respect to its leaders' decisions."

Tymoshenko was found guilty of abuse of office for negotiating a gas pricing agreement with Russia and sentenced to seven years in prison. EU members have said they believe the sentence was “politically motivated,” WSJ reports.