30th Mar 2023

Tymoshenko family lukewarm on EU parliament doctors

The family of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has asked the EU parliament to change its plan on medical monitoring in case the original one is counter-productive.

Parliament President Martin Schulz last week agreed with Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov "to propose a group of international doctors" - potentially from the Red Cross - to make sure she gets proper treatment for back pains.

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  • 'She has already been diagnosed and she has the attention of an independent doctor' (Photo: Wikipedia)

He later tasked Polish centre-right MEP Jacek Protasiewicz to put it into action.

Tymoshenko's daughter, Eugenia, told EUobserver from Kiev on Thursday (24 May) her mother does not want the extra medical help in case it creates "confusion," however.

"She has already been diagnosed and she has the attention of an independent doctor [from the Charite institute in Germany] ... It could lead to confusion and disinformation by the Ukrainian authorities. It might give them the chance to falsify information and confuse people," she said.

"We are fighting a media war with the system."

She told Schulz when they met in Strasbourg on Tuesday the parliament-nominated doctors should be sent to look after Yuriy Lutsenko and Valeriy Ivashchenko instead.

The two former Tymoshenko ministers are also in prison, with Eugenia saying that Lutsenko has hepatitis and "might die."

She last saw her mother on Friday in a prison-run hospital. She said she was "very weak" after her recent hunger strike, "lying down and in a lot of pain," but also in "a little better mood."

Her priority is to get her into a normal hospital because she is under "psychological pressure" in the current location - her bed is being videoed by three CCTV cameras, she has only male but no female guards in attendance and authorities are interfering in doctors' work.

Eugenia voiced gratitude for Schulz' initiative despite the misgivings on doctors.

She said the second part of his scheme - to nominate an internationally-respected personality to oversee her mother's legal appeal - is "very important."

The case is to be heard on 26 June after a postponement. But unless her mother is exonerated of charges of abuse of office by 13 August she will not be able to register as a candidate for parliamentary elections in October, inviting a thumbs down on democratic standards by international observers.

On the Euro 2012 boycott, Eugenia said EU politicians should feel free to "enjoy" the games but in a private capacity and not go as state guests.

She predicted ordinary Ukrainians will exploit the event to stage protests unless "political prisoners" are freed before it begins.

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