Kharkiv, UKRAINE, 4 July 2012 – One day before the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is set to debate a resolution aimed at improving the rule of law in Ukraine, Coskun Coruz (The Netherlands) today visited former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a Kharkiv hospital.

The two met for nearly two hours, discussing the importance of an independent judiciary and prison reform in Ukraine.

"I appreciate the Ukrainian authorities allowing me to visit Ms. Tymoshenko and I hope this visit is the start of Ukraine showing a permanent commitment to its OSCE values and dialogue with the OSCE," Coruz said.

Coruz also met with prison officials, prosecutors and the hospital director. Coruz is the author of a resolution to be voted on this week in Monaco by more than 250 parliamentarians from 54 countries at the OSCE PA Annual Session.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions resolution calls for countries serving as OSCE Chair-in-Office to set the standard for "exemplary observance" of their human rights commitments, including respecting the independence of the judiciary. Ukraine's OSCE chairmanship begins in January 2013.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that the arrest of Tymoshenko's former interior minister, Yuri Lutsenko, was "arbitrary" and that the government of Ukraine must pay him €15,000 in damages. Tymoshenko said she hoped the court would rule similarly in her case, Coruz said after their meeting.

"I have positive feelings about the changes to the criminal procedure, but I have great concerns about the case of Tymoshenko. There should be transparency in the whole case," said Coruz.