The U.S. and the European Union sent a strong diplomatic signal to Ukraine this week by linking improved trade relations to the release of the ailing pro-Western opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt and Jan Tombinski, the EU envoy to the East European nation, visited Mrs. Tymoshenko on Wednesday in a hospital in the city of Kharkiv, where she is held under armed guard and treated for a serious spinal condition.
They discussed an EU trade agreement that Ukraine hopes to sign next month, the two diplomats told reporters. The European Union has been pressing pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych to transfer Mrs. Tymoshenko to Germany for medical treatment.
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle last week warned Mr. Yanukovych that the trade agreement could hinge on Mrs. Tymoshenko’s release. The 52-year-old leader of the All Ukrainian Union party was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2011 after a trial that Western leaders denounced as politically motivated. Mrs. Tymoshenko served as prime minister from 2007 to 2010.
‘HE CAN RUN ‘
Kenya is threatening to appeal to Interpol if the United States refuses to return an American diplomat to Nairobi to face charges in a fatal traffic crash.
“He can run, but Kenya will engage Interpol an do all that it can to make sure he is sent back here to answer for the crime,” said Adan Duale, majority leader of the Kenyan parliament.
Joshua Walde, an information management officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, left the East African nation shortly after he was involved in the July 11 accident in Nairobi.
The U.S. Embassy has expressed condolences to the pregnant widow and three children of Haji Lukindo, the Kenyan killed in the crash. Police said Mr. Walde rammed his SUV into a minibus, but they declined to charge him because he had diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution.
Mr. Duale told parliament last week that the Kenyan government has written to the Obama administration to request Mr. Walde’s extradition.
CALL THE QUEEN
As Congress struggled over the partial government shutdown and debt crisis this week, a British Conservative member of the European Parliament who is popular in right-wing Washington circles, offered some advice with a royal flare.
Daniel Hannan is one of the few Europeans who admires the separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution and the authority of the House to raise revenues. However, he thinks the Capitol and the White House could have used some counseling from Buckingham Palace and ended the stalemate sooner.
“I love the US Constitution — really love it — but I can’t help wondering whether a word from the Queen wouldn’t resolve the current impasse,” he said on his Twitter account.
Mr. Hannan has been warning Americans about the dangers of government-run health care. Britain’s National Health Service is plagued by poor service and medical rationing.