KYIV, 23 October 2012 – Walburga Habsburg Douglas (MP, Sweden), the Special Co-ordinator to lead the OSCE election observation mission in Ukraine released the following statement today after meeting with Yuriy Lutsenko in prison:

"Today I met with Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko at the Mena penal colony in Chernihiv region. We talked for approximately two hours through a plate glass window inside the prison. I appreciate very much the invitation from Mr. Lutsenko to share his thoughts with me and the wider international community about the status of democracy in Ukraine and am pleased the authorities respected his right to visit with me.

"Every election is different, and it is certainly different to have to visit a prison in order to meet with a political leader. In my mandate as the leader of this election observation mission, it is critical to hear a wide variety of voices as we assess Ukraine's performance with respect to its election-related OSCE commitments. I look forward to having similar discussions with other interlocutors in the final days of the campaign."