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.
Were Ukraine a third-world country or Tymoshenko not well-assisted by expensive public relations firms, her destructive tendencies would be a source of mockery. Each advance she and her anti-Semitic allies make is at her backers’ feet.
On Monday, the world will wake to a Ukraine that has passed its litmus test. The growing debate over how to view Ukraine will heat up as free elections and the mounting evidence show a country determined to be part of Europe.
“The only chance for Ukraine is to be on our side … Ukraine needs Europe, and Europe needs Ukraine.” This was the general consensus of a conference in Berlin on October 23, 2012, featuring statesmen wrestling with Europe’s relationship with Ukraine in advance of upcoming parliamentary elections.