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Ukraine's FM To Urge U.S. To 'Put Away' Tymoshenko Concerns

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara
WASHINGTON – Ukraine's foreign minister says he will urge U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to look beyond the case of Ukraine's jailed former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, and focus on areas of cooperation between the countries.

Leonid Kozhara was speaking May 9 at the National Democratic Institute in Washington, one day before his meeting with the top U.S. diplomat. He said he planned to discuss prospects for increased cooperation on energy, agriculture, and other issues with Kerry.

"If we put away this single question on Mrs. Tymoshenko and look at what we have, it's an extremely positive record of bilateral relations," Kozhara said.

Tymoshenko was jailed in 2011 for abuse of office and faces other criminal charges that the West has condemned as politically motivated.

Kozhara said Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych could not honor Western calls to pardon Tymoshenko, as "to intercede would unduly influence the country's independent judicial system."