Former Ukraine president Viktor Yushchenko says the furore over jailed former premier Yulia Tymoshenko has "halted Ukraine's integration into the EU".
According to The Parliament report, he also defended the decision to convict Tymoshenko, accusing her of signing off a “corrupt” gas deal.
His comments come ahead of key parliamentary elections in Ukraine at the end of this month. The fact that Tymoshenko, the main opponent of Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovich, remains imprisoned and unable to campaign has partly overshadowed the election.
Tymoshenko was sentenced a year ago to seven years for abusing her power as prime minister in allegedly approving a 2009 gas deal with Russia.
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