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Ukraine Accepts EU Legal, Medical Experts In Tymoshenko Case

Jailed Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko
Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov says the European Union can send experts to assess both the medical state of his jailed predecessor Yulia Tymoshenko and the legal process that led to her conviction and seven-year sentence.

Azarov said at the European Parliament on May 16 that an EU medical team can go to Ukraine to examine Tymoshenko, who is currently being treated at a hospital in the eastern city of Kharkiv while recovering from a recent hunger strike and a back condition.

EU Parliament President Martin Schulz said that after "intense and honest" discussions, Azarov's commitment on the medical and legal visits was "a real step forward."

Tymoshenko was convicted in October of abusing her powers by signing a gas deal with Russia.

The hearing of her appeal has been postponed until June 26.

Meanwhile, The United States on May 16 urged Ukraine to free imprisoned opposition leaders and allow them to run in the October 28 parliamentary elections.

Speaking to reporters and representatives from rights groups in Kyiv, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Thomas Melia voiced concerns about "selective, politically motivated prosecutions on multiple occasions."

Based on reporting by UNIAN, AP, Interfax, and AFP