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Austrian FM to talk Ukrainian president about Tymoshenko jailing

Nov. 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM   |   Comments

KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Austria's foreign leader said he'll try to convince Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to resolve the situation on jailed ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

In October 2011, a court in Kiev sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for exceeding her authority when signing gas supply contracts with Russia in 2009. Since May 2012, she has been staying at a hospital and receiving medical treatment.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled April 30 that Tymoshenko's pretrial detention violated parts of the European Convention.

"We all know that it is in the hands of President Viktor Yanukovych to find a solution," Michael Spindelegger, Austria's vice chancellor and foreign affairs minister, said Monday in Brussels, where he was attending a meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council.

Spindelegger said he and Yanukovych would meet Thursday "and we will try to persuade him to do something," Interfax-Ukraine reported Monday.

Ukraine's Justice Ministry said in July it met its obligations under the court's ruling in Tymoshenko's complaint alleging her rights were infringed.

In a separate matter, Tymoshenko's defense team filed a complaint with European court alleging her right to a fair and public hearing was violated. The court started to consider the second complaint in July.

A resolution agreed to in the U.S. Senate urges Ukrainian officials to release Tymoshenko, expressing "concern and disappointment" at her "politically motivated imprisonment," Interfax-Ukraine said. The resolution also urges European Union member to include Tymoshenko's release as an element for the signing of an association agreement with Ukraine at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania.

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