WARSAW - Poland said on Thursday Ukraine's reputation would “suffer dramatically” if no humanitarian solution for the case of jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko were found, but criticised calls for a boycott of the pending European soccer tournament in Ukraine.
The imprisonment of Tymoshenko, who helped organise the June soccer championships while in office and is the main political rival of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, has called into question Kiev's efforts to move closer to the European Union.
“I have left Ukraine's prime minister and president in no doubt that the (Tymoshenko) case ...is a test of credibility for the present Ukrainian authorities and that the reputation of Ukraine would suffer dramatically if it does not find a solution that we deem civilised before the European championship,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told a news conference.
“I think the calls for a boycott are inappropriate. I understand the politicians who sympathise with Yulia Tymoshenko, but nothing stands in their way to express this sympathy in a clear way during the championships,” Tusk said.