Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said it is "immoral" to link his country's European integration aspirations with the trial of former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Azarov told reporters in the Black Sea resort of Yalta, "These are such serious things that it would be not only wrong but also immoral to link it to the concrete trial."
His remark comes a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to express concerns that Ukraine's court system is being used as a tool against political opponents.
Merkel told Yanukovych that European Union assistance to Ukraine depends on visible commitments to democracy and rule of law.
Merkel's spokesman said the chancellor specifically named former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is currently detained and charged with corruption.
compiled from agency reports