Monday, April 30, 2012

Ukraine says at least 5 EU leaders skipping summit

KIEV — Ukraine faced growing isolation Monday as five presidents and an EU chief voiced plans to miss a summit and the Euro 2012 football tournament over its treatment of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Ukraine immediately dismissed the moves as a technicality that had nothing to do with the hunger-striking opposition leader and her claims of recently being beaten by jail guards.

But the ex-Soviet state also warned Europe's biggest nation Germany against staging a Cold War-style boycott after reports emerged of Chancellor Angela Merkel planning to order her ministers not to attend matches played in Ukraine.

A Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman said that the presidents of Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy and Slovenia had informed Kiev of plans to miss the May 11-12 Yalta meeting of Central and Eastern European presidents.

He added that Estonia's president was also unlikely to attend. Read More