KIEV, Ukraine, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The Polish foreign minister said Wednesday that the European Union was finding it difficult to work with Kiev because of the Yulia Tymoshenko case.
"What complicates our work at the EU in supporting Ukraine's European aspiration is the growing climate of distrust toward Ukrainian policies," Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying from Kiev. "This especially applies to the quality of the judicial process against Yulia Tymoshenko."
Tymoshenko, an opposition leader and former prime minister, is serving a seven-year prison sentence in Ukraine on charges she abused her authority in a 2009 natural gas deal with Russian energy company Gazprom.
Her daughter, Eugenia, told U.S. lawmakers last week that her mother was mistreated while in custody. Yulia Tymoshenko is apparently unable to stand by herself.
Lawmakers in Ukraine shot down a measure Wednesday that would have decriminalized part of the legal code that was used to send Tymoshenko to jail.
Her allies say the charges against her are politically motivated. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, her long-time political rival, denies the allegations.