Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy [January 31, 2013]   [open pdf - 256KB]

"Since Viktor Yanukovych defeated Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko to win Ukraine's presidency in 2010, many observers have expressed concern about Ukraine's democratic development, including the government's use of the courts to neutralize opposition leaders, including Tymoshenko, who was sentenced to a seven-year prison term in 2011. International observers criticized Ukraine's October 2012 parliamentary elections as falling short of international standards. […] The Obama Administration has worked to 'reset' relations with Russia, but has warned that it will not accept any country's assertion of a sphere of influence, a reminder of U.S. support for Ukraine's sovereignty. The Administration has focused on helping Ukraine rid itself of its supplies of highly enriched uranium, assisting Ukraine with the clean-up of the Chernobyl nuclear site, and diversifying Ukraine's sources of energy, including advice on developing Ukraine's shale gas reserves. Administration officials have expressed serious concerns about regression in Ukraine's democratic development since Yanukovych took power, including in such areas as media freedoms and selective prosecution of the government's political opponents. Legislation was introduced in the 112th Congress and 113th Congress calling for Tymoshenko and other victims of politically motivated prosecutions to be released from prison. One of them, a modified version of S.Res. 466, was passed by the Senate on September 21, 2012. Among other provisions, it called for sanctions against Ukrainian leaders responsible for selective prosecutions."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33460
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