Ashton, Fule welcome Lutsenko's release

KYIV, April 8 /UKRINFORM/. The European Union welcomes the pardoning of former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and former Environment Minister Heorhiy Filipchuk.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule said this in a joint statement, a UKRINFORM correspondent reported.

"We salute that President Yanukovych has exercised his prerogatives of pardoning in the cases of former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and former Environmental Protection Minister Heorhiy Filipchuk. We welcome the release from prison and return to his family of Mr. Lutsenko on Sunday," reads the statement.

The EU said that this is "an important step by the Ukrainian authorities in addressing the concerns regarding the matter of selective justice."

Ashton and Fule also commended the important contribution the European Parliament's monitoring mission to Ukraine headed by former European Parliament President Pat Cox and former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski has made in this context.

"We now look forward to Ukraine addressing without further delay the outstanding case of selective justice and preventing any recurrence of selective justice by a comprehensive judicial reform in line with European standards, in order to fully implement the conclusions of the December 10, 2012 Foreign Affairs Council and the joint statement of the February 25, 2013 EU-Ukraine Summit," the EU said.

As reported, on April 7, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed a decree to pardon six prisoners, including former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and former Environment Minister Heorhiy Filipchuk.

Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Valeria Lutkovska earlier submitted an appeal to the Ukrainian president asking him to pardon Lutsenko.

The European Parliament's monitoring mission of Pat Cox and Aleksander Kwasniewski also asked the head of state to pardon the former interior minister.


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