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UK deeply concerned by Tymoshenko conviction – Foreign Office

© RIA Novosti . Sergej Starostenko / Go to the photo bankYulia Tymoshenko
Yulia Tymoshenko - Sputnik International
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Britain is deeply concerned by the conviction of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and considers this ruling an obstacle to Ukraine’s European integration, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.

Britain is deeply concerned by the conviction of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and considers this ruling an obstacle to Ukraine’s European integration, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.

Kiev's Pechersky District Court sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for abuse of office over her signing of a gas deal with Russia in 2009.

“Ukraine says it wants to join the EU one day. The UK supports that objective. But that cannot happen until Ukraine can show that it adheres to the highest democratic standards, including respect for human rights, the rule of law and an independent, transparent and fair judicial process,” Hague said.

“The conviction of Ms Tymoshenko and ongoing cases against former members of the government call into question Ukraine’s commitment to these values,” he added.

 “This could pose a major obstacle to the signature and ratification of the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU,” Hague said.

The European Union earlier said that if Tymoshenko goes to jail Europe may suspend negotiations on the bilateral agreement on association and free-trade zone, which Ukraine hopes to sign by year-end.

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