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Ukraine's Yanukovych Ready To Release Tymoshenko For Treatment Abroad

Supporters of jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko have kept up pressure on the government to free her.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych says he will sign a bill that would allow jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to travel abroad for medical treatment.

Yanukovych said on October 17 that such a bill has been drawn up, adding, "Naturally, if parliament adopts this bill, I will sign it."

Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2011 on abuse-of-office charges that were widely seen as politically motivated.

EU leaders have linked the signing of an association and free-trade agreement with Ukraine with Tymoshenko's release.

Ukraine hopes to sign the agreement at a November 28-29 summit in Vilnius.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele and Tymoshenko's daughter, Yevhenia, have both said they expect Tymoshenko will be allowed to go to Germany for treatment of persistent back trouble before the summit.

Fuele said on October 17 he expected Tymoshenko will be released "before the Vilnius summit."

Yevhenia Tymoshenko told Reuters she expected her mother will leave for Germany by November 19.

EU foreign ministers are expected to sign off on the Ukraine-EU agreements on November 18.

Based on reporting by Interfax-Ukraine, ITAR-TASS, Reuters, and AFP