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MEPs criticize the recent decision of the High Court of Ukraine to postpone its ruling on the appeal by former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko against her seven-year prison sentence, in a resolution adopted on Thursday. They warn against delaying the legal proceedings, condemn the use of force against her by prison guards and remind Ukraine of its obligation to examine any complaints of cruel treatment.

Parliament says doctors must be sent to treat Ms Tymoshenko and a high-level observer must monitor the court cases against her, as agreed last week between EP President Schulz and Prime Minister Azarov.

It also calls on the Ukrainian authorities to set up an independent international panel to report on possible violations of fundamental rights in the cases of Yulia Tymoshenko and other opposition politicians. It urges the Ukrainian authorities to ensure adequate medical assistance, unrestricted access to lawyers and the right to visits for all prisoners sentenced on politically motivated grounds.

Parliament demands an end to the use of selective justice targeting political and other opponents: "The democratic struggle for political decisions must take place in parliament -- and must not be destroyed by personally or politically motivated acts of criminal prosecution and manipulated judgments in the criminal courts", the resolution states.

2012 European Football Championship

The text calls on European politicians who wish to attend Euro 2012 matches in Ukraine in June to make their awareness of the political situation in the country publicly clear and to visit political detainees in prison, if possible. It urges the politicians to attend in their private capacity and not as VIPs.

Parliamentary elections and EU-Ukraine relations

MEPs want a European Parliament delegation to observe the next parliamentary elections in Ukraine later this year, underlining the critical importance of free, fair and transparent elections.

They stress that the current problems in relations between Ukraine and the European Union can only be solved if the Ukrainian authorities show that they are willing to carry out the necessary reforms. They also insist that an independent judiciary is essential as a cornerstone for building closer relations with the Union.