Ukraine: Tymoshenko gas deal treasonous

KIEV, Ukraine, March 21 (UPI) -- Ukrainian lawmakers said they determined that former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko likely committed treason in a 2009 gas deal with Russia.

Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges she abused her authority in a 2009 natural gas deal with Russian energy company Gazprom.


Inna Bogoslovskaya, a lawmaker leading a commission investigating the deal, was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying "Tymoshenko's actions have the signs of high treason."

Ukrainian lawmakers have sent supporting evidence gathered by the commission to the prosecutor general's office and to the secret service, the news service adds.

Gazprom in early 2009 cut off the supply of gas to Ukraine following a series of disputes over contracts and debt. That disrupted energy supplies to much of Europe as Ukraine hosts about 80 percent of the Russian gas sent to European consumers. Tymoshenko helped secure a deal that restored natural gas supplies, though Kiev says the price is far too high.

Tymoshenko denies any wrongdoing and her supporters say the charges against her are politically motivated. She helped lead the country's Orange Revolution in 2004 but lost a bruising campaign to pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych in 2010.


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