KYIV: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has signalled a clearing of the way to resolve one of the domestic political issues which threatened embarrassment during the European Champi0nship finals in June and July.

The draw for the finals last year took place in Kyiv while, elsewhere in the city, riot police were needed to restrain supporters of the jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Opponents of Yanukovitch had alleged that the case against Tymoshenko, over a gas deal with Russia in 2009 when she was in office, had been politically motived. She is currently serving a seven-year prison term and conerns have been raised about her health.

On Friday Yanukovitch appeared on the country’s three main television channels to insist that he supported the revision by parliament of criminal cases including that against Tymoshenko after the prospective adoption of a new Criminal Procedure Code.

He said: “I believe that we should have all these cases considered again from the point of view of the new Criminal Procedure Code, which will comply with all European standards. I’m very interested that we should get the right solution.”

The law is expected to be ratified in March. European Union observers had cautioned that the circumstances of the jailing of Tymoshenko had set back Ukraine’s hopes of eventual entry into the EU.