Caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Crown Prince Willem-Alexander will not attend any of the Dutch football team’s matches at the UEFA European Football Championships in Ukraine, according to Dutch TV news broadcaster RTL Nieuws.
On Friday, the cabinet will decide if Health and Sports Minister Edith Schippers will also stay home.
The prince and the prime minister will not attend the matches to protest the poor treatment of opposition leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, by the current Ukrainian government. Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year prison sentence. She was convicted of abuse of office in brokering a 2009 gas agreement with Russia.
Tymoshenko and her supporters claim the conviction was politically motivated. The European Union has called the conviction, “justice being applied selectively under political motivation.” There are reports that Tymoshenko has suffered abuse at the hands of her jailers.
On Thursday, British ministers decided they would not to travel to Ukraine. The French government has announced that it will not send a delegation.
The Euro 2012 tournament begins Friday in Poland. On Saturday, the Dutch team will play against Denmark, in the city of Charkov in Ukraine.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide