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EU Cancels Ukrainian President's Visit

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
The European Union has canceled a planned visit by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych following the jailing of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said Yanukovych's visit would take place when "conditions will be more conducive to making progress on bilateral relations."

Yanukovych was scheduled to meet with EU president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso on October 20.

EU-Ukrainian relations were strained by last week's court decision to sentence Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for abuse of power in connection with a contract she signed with Russia's Gazprom in 2009.

The EU said it wanted to see "progress" on Tymoshenko's situation and the rule of law in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said today he viewed the seven-year jailing of Tymoshenko as the country's internal matter.

He spoke a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

compiled from agency reports

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