Russia considers the case of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko politicized, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov 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.
"We respect Ukraine's sovereignty and independence of the Ukrainian judicial system. But we underline our position that this very case is highly politicized and the essence of convictions shows that they are related to Russia," Lavrov said adding that convicting Tymoshenko for the current and still valid agreements was inadmissible.
“This is a valid contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz. The contract was signed by the previous government and has not been contested before the moment,” Lavrov added.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt agreed with his Russian counterpart that the Ukrainian court had no grounds to convict Tymoshenko.
“We do not see that European laws, standards and values are respected in this case. We do not see any grounds for this sentence. I think this is a political trial,” Bildt 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.