Canada Concerned About Detention of Ukrainian Opposition Leaders

August 22, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“The August 17, 2012, conviction of former minister of the interior Yuri Lutsenko is the latest example of apparent political bias in the prosecution of Ukrainian opposition figures; it raises serious concerns about the rule of law and democracy in Ukraine. This trend calls into question the willingness of Ukraine to hold elections that are truly free and fair. Our government has committed unprecedented support to ensuring that elections this fall are free, fair and fully representative of the democratic will of Ukrainian voters.

“While welcoming news of the conditional release of former acting minister of defence Valeriy Ivashchenko, we call on the Ukrainian government to release Yuri Lutsenko and Yulia Tymoshenko. 

“Canada stands with the people of Ukraine as they seek to build a nation founded on the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

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