Concerns are growing over the upcoming Euro 2012 football competition, to be held jointly in Poland and the Ukraine, after the latter has become increasing ostracised by leading European politicians over its treatment of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko (pictured).
Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission and EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, have both said they intend to boycott the Euro 2012 tournament in Ukraine.
Several European leaders have also cancelled visits to Ukraine amid growing concern over the alleged mistreatment of Tymoshenko, and it has been suggested that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be the next to do so.
The presidents of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Slovenia have all pulled out of the summit of Central and East European leaders to be held in the Ukrainian city of Yalta on May 11th & 12th.
The imprisonment of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, has been seen by many Western politicians as politically motivated and is just another thorn in the side of tournament organisers UEFA, who are already struggling with transport, accommodation and security issues in Ukraine, brought to a head by last Friday's bombings in Dnipropetrovsk.
Ms Tymoshenko, who claims the Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych is "exacting political revenge" on her, is said to be on hunger strike and is allegedly "very ill".