EU leaders snub Euro 2012 finals due to Ukraine's human rights row

    Story highlights

    • EU Commission's president Jose Manuel Barroso snubs invitation to Euro 2012 final
    • He is latest EU leader refusing to travel to Ukraine over its treatment of imprisoned Yulia Tymoshenko
    • Ukraine suffering series of upsets including "crook" hoteliers, bombings and snubs
    • Govt assures UEFA it is taking all necessary steps to ensure safety of 1.3m visitors
    Pressure is mounting on Ukraine to clean up its human rights record ahead of the Euro 2012 finals next month, with the EU Commission's president the latest high-profile leader to boycott the football championships.
    Just weeks before the tournament kicks off, president Jose Manuel Barroso has rejected an invitation to attend the final in Kiev -- citing concerns over the treatment of imprisoned opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
    "The president has decided that for the time being and in the present circumstances he doesn't want to travel to or attend any events in Ukraine," his spokeswoman told CNN on Tuesday.
    She confirmed this was due to concerns over the treatment of former prime minister Tymoshenko, and added: "The EU and president Barroso have sent strong signals of their serious concerns over what is happening in Ukraine."
    Photos emerged on Friday of Tymoshenko covered in bruises which the 51-year-old claims that prison guards inflicted. Officials have denied the allegations.
    Tymoshenko, a fierce rival of president Victor Yanukovych, is serving a seven-year jail sentence for abuse of office and faces another trial on tax evasion charges.