A landmark trade deal between Ukraine and the European Union has been placed in grave jeopardy after the country’s parliament voted not to permit jailed former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, to travel to Germany for medical treatment.
The release of Tymoshenko, a fierce critic of President Viktor Yanukovich, is a key requirement for the accord with Europe to go ahead.
The EU and Ukraine had been due to sign the trade deal in Vilnius at a summit on November 28-29.
EU officials say there is no “plan B” if an agreement cannot be reached on Tymoshenko.
The deadlock will please Moscow, which has used its economic muscle to persuade Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to reject EU attentions and join a Russian-led customs union.