Kremlin Source: Yushchenko Lies about Russian Gas in Tymoshenko Trial - ReportWorld | August 17, 2011, Wednesday // 21:01| views
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko speaks to the media in front of the the Kiev Pecherskyi District Court, Ukraine, 17 August 2011. EPA/BGNES
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko lied in court Wednesday when testifying in the "Russian gas deal" trial against Ukraine's ex PM Yulia Tymoshenko, according to an unnamed source from the Kremlin.
"Yushchenko is lying to his court... During his presidential term he personally wanted to gain political dividends and proposed to [Russian] President Dmitry Medvedev to personally sign a deal settling gas issues... But he was told that the issue was within the competence of the heads of the governments," the Kremlin source said, as cited by RIA Novosti Wednesday night.
Earlier on Wednesday, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko testified against his ex Prime Minister and former ally Yulia Tymoshenko in the latter's trial. He believes that Tymoshenko agreed to maintain Russia's energy yoke on Ukraine that threatens the existence and security of the Ukrainians.
"Moreover, in his later telephone conversations with Dmitry Medvedev, Yushchenko said he fully trusted Yulia Tymoshenko, that she had all the necessary powers and that he would support all agreements reached with Russia," the source cited by RIA Novosti added.
Yushchenko, who was booed as a "traitor" by Tymoshenko's supporters upon entering the court in Kiev, further said that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin should be summoned to give evidence in the trial together with Alexei Miller, the CEO of Russian energy giant Gazprom.
Tymoshenko is on trial for the 2009 deal for natural gas that her government made with Russia, and is charged with agreeing on an excessive purchase price. She faces 10 years behind bars if found guilty.
Tymoshenko herself claims that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, a long-time political rival, has orchestrated the trial against her before next years elections.
Back in 2004, Tymoshenko had a decisive role in Ukrainian politics by backing the so called "Orange Revolution" that overturned Yanukovich's victory in the Ukrainian presidential elections.
She served as Prime Minister of Ukraine under pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko (2004-2009), who, however, lost overwhelmingly to Yanukovich in 2009.
Yushchenko rejected a claim by Tymoshenko that he had called back the Ukrainian delegation involved in gas talks with Russia in late 2008. Tymoshenko says that if he had not withdrawn the delegation - which she headed - there would have been no subsequent cut-off of gas supplies to Ukraine by Russian energy giant Gazprom – the so called Russia-Ukraine gas war which left much of Europe without Russian natural gas supplies in January 2009.