Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulya Tymoshenko was the country’s “internal affair,” but stressed that the Ukrainian judiciary should not have “a political or anti-Russian dimension.”
“I try not to comment on court decisions, either Russian of foreign,” Medvedev, a lawyer, told journalists during a Russian-Ukrainian regional economic forum in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk when asked to comment on Tymoshenko’s seven-year jail term.
Tymoshenko, 50, was jailed for seven years last Tuesday for exceeding her powers in signing a gas deal with Russia in 2009. Two days later a new case was opened against her in connection with a debt her company owed to the Russian Defense Ministry in the 1990s.
Both Russia and the European Union condemned the verdict as “politically motivated.” The Russian Foreign Ministry has described it as having an “anti-Russian subtext.”
Kiev has long been trying to review the gas contract with Russia, saying that the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas in line with the agreement pushed through by Tymoshenko is “unfair” and detrimental to Ukraine’s economy. Russian energy giant Gazprom and Ukraineian state gas monopoly Naftogaz are currently negotiating the issue.