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Slovakia declines to join growing European boycott of Ukraine

The imprisonment and alleged maltreatment in custody of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is gradually leading to the isolation of her country from the rest of Europe. Several European leaders have already announced that they will boycott either the European Football Championship or the May summit of presidents due to be held in Yalta. The only exception is Slovakia, whose President Ivan Gašparovič has said he sees no reason not to attend the meeting, the Sme daily reported.

The imprisonment and alleged maltreatment in custody of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is gradually leading to the isolation of her country from the rest of Europe. Several European leaders have already announced that they will boycott either the European Football Championship or the May summit of presidents due to be held in Yalta. The only exception is Slovakia, whose President Ivan Gašparovič has said he sees no reason not to attend the meeting, the Sme daily reported.

President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Czech President Václav Klaus, as well as his German and Austrian counterparts, Joachim Gauck and Heinz Fischer, are among the politicians who have already refused invitations to both events. They say that they will not change their attitude until Ukraine changes its behaviour towards Tymoshenko, who claims that she has been assaulted several times while in custody.

The Slovak president’s spokesperson, Marek Trubač, said that Gašparovič still plans to attend the May summit in Yalta.

“Ukraine is our neighbour, therefore we are interested in an open dialogue with it and expressing our objections,” Trubač told Sme, adding that Gašparovič is observing the Tymoshenko case very closely.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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