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Ukraine lawmakers nix bills allowing jailed ex-PM medical care abroad

Nov. 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The Ukrainian parliament voted down six bills that would have allowed imprisoned former Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko to receive medical treatment abroad.

None of the bills received more than 195 votes during the Verkhovna Rada's plenary meeting Thursday because factions of the Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine didn't vote, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

In October 2011, Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of power in a 2009 deal under which Ukraine paid a high price for Russian natural gas.

Tymoshenko has chronic back problems that medical officials said couldn't be treated properly in Ukraine.

The bill proposed by the leaders of the three opposition parties would have released Tymoshenko and quashed her conviction.

Efforts to try to reach compromise legislation earlier in November failed, Interfax said.

Achieving a solution to Tymoshenko's issue is a key requirement for signing an association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, next week.

Russia's legal news information agency said if Ukraine fails to reach a solution concerning Tymoshenko, who maintains the charges against her were politically motivated, the country' integration with Europe will be put on hold.

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