Interfax Ukraine.  The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution, which urges Ukraine's government to free former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the EU member states to include the ex-premier's release as an important criterion for the signing of the Association Agreement.

The document S.Res. 165 prepared by Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois (the Democratic Party) was backed by both parties.

"The Senate calls on the Government of Ukraine to release former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from imprisonment in light of the April 2013 European Court of Human Rights verdict; calls on the European Union members to include the release of Ms. Tymoshenko from imprisonment as an important criterion for signing an association agreement with Ukraine at the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania," the document reads.

The U.S. Senate has also expressed its concern and disappointment that the continued selective and politically motivated imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko "unnecessarily detracts from Ukraine's otherwise strong relationship with Europe, the United States, and the community of democracies."

As reported, on October 11, 2011, the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for exceeding her authority when signing gas supply contracts with Russia in 2009. She has been serving her sentence at the Kachanivska correctional facility in Kharkiv since late December 2011. Since May 9, 2012, she has been staying at a Kharkiv hospital and receiving medial treatment there.

The ECHR ruled on April 30, 2013, that Tymoshenko's pre-trial detention violated three paragraphs of Article 5 (right to freedom and security) and also Article 18 (restriction of rights) of the European Convention. On July 30, the ECHR judgment acquired final status.

Ukraine's Justice Ministry said on July 30 that Ukraine had fulfilled all of its obligations under the ECHR's ruling in Tymoshenko's complaint against infringements by the Ukrainian government of her rights.

Apart from the complaint against Tymoshenko's arrest, her defense team also filed a complaint with the ECHR against the violation of her right to a fair and public hearing due to political motives (Articles 6 and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights), meaning her conviction in the 2009 gas supply case. The proceedings on the complaint were opened in October 2012. On July 15, 2013, the court started to consider the second complaint.


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