Ukraine’s Tymoshenko appeals power abuse charge

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said on Tuesday she has appealed the initiation of proceedings against her relating to a 2009 contract with Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office launched power abuse charges against Tymoshenko in mid-April. The current Ukrainian authorities say the deal she signed with Gazprom presented unfavorable conditions for Ukraine.

“We want this appeal to be publicly reviewed in court,” said Tymoshenko, who now leads the country’s opposition.

Tymoshenko has also been charged with illegally diverting funds meant for environmental projects to pay for pensions and purchasing 1,000 “overpriced” minivans.

The current government has long urged Russia to review the existing gas pricing formula but talks have so far been unsuccessful. In 2010, Ukraine’s Naftogaz and Gazprom signed an additional gas agreement with a discount of $100 per 1,000 cubic meters.

President Viktor Yanukovych has said Ukraine will pursue ties with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in a 3+1 format after Gazprom said a union entry would cut the country’s gas bill by $8 billion every year.

KIEV, May 10 (RIA Novosti)

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