While cast in the role of heroic martyr and freedom fighter, she has rallied millions to her cause. In power, she has been little different from the overwhelmingly male leaders against whom she has contrasted herself.
With so many credible allegations of wrongdoing remaining, baseless demands for Tymoshenko to be pardoned must not stand in the way of a true commitment both to the law and to a serious policy toward Ukraine.
This development is part of a larger series of events that point more and more inexorably toward the signing of the Association Agreement and closer ties at last between Europe and Ukraine.
In the months to come, Europe and Ukraine must practice true Realpolitik. With luck, passions will have cooled to the point that good statesmanship is not merely possible, but likely.
It would be easier for Ukraine to take the co-rapporteurs’ suggestion and eliminate the European Union’s last remaining objection to Kyiv. It must not do so. The rule of law is too precious to be cast aside even in the name of national interest.
The ECHR deserves a plaudit for rejecting the most ridiculous of Tymoshenko’s allegations, effectively undercutting Tymoshenko’s narrative of a brutal regime that imprisoned and tortured her in the prelude to a rigged trial.
There has been talk in Washington of late of sanctions against Ukraine for the continuing tribulations of Yulia Tymoshenko. This would be a profound error.
That another member of Angela Merkel’s party — one with the foreign affairs and PACE credentials to carry significant weight — is willing to break with Ukraine’s harshest interlocutor and the head of his party is a telling sea change.
The Skadden Arps report does not completely vindicate Ukraine and its handling of Yulia Tymoshenko’s trial, but on the critical questions of selective prosecution, Tymoshenko’s outlandish behavior, and her factual guilt, her arguments lie in tatters.
The move beyond Tymoshenko as the sole arbiter of Ukraine’s democracy is already underway in Ukraine. It is time to take that move into the larger world.