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Tymoshenko (right) was accused of misconduct in brokering an energy deal with neighboring Russia (photo: www.kremlin.ru)
RIGA -- The Baltic states have denounced a recent court ruling in Ukraine that saw former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko sent to prison in a decision that has been widely criticized as political.
Tymoshenko was sentenced to 7 years in prison and a $200 million fine for abuse of power in brokering a 2008 gas deal with Russia.
"This trial was a serious challenge to the judicial power of Ukraine. Already earlier decisions, for instance, applying detention as a pre-trial supervision measure, raised serious doubts as regards fair, transparent and independent legal process," said Latvian Foreign Minister Girts Kristovskis.
In Estonia, meanwhile, President Toomas Hendrick Ilves cancelled a meeting with the visiting Ukrainian Foreign Minister.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)has now also spoken out against the ruling.
“The Ukraine must demonstrate the greatest possible transparency during the process of this trial. As the nations have a duty to respect the rule of law, they must avoid selective application of justice,” Azubalis said.
The Ukraine will take over the OSCE chairmanship in 2013.