Pro-Tymoshenko camp vows to remain

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Pro-Tymoshenko camp vows to remain

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In Ukraine, supporters of the jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko have promised to maintain their protest camp until she is released.

They have pitched tents outside the courthouse where she was sentenced to seven years in prison for abusing her power while in office.

Some critics of the verdict have claimed it was a politically motivated trial, something the government has denied.

Tymoshenko supporter Olexi Karagolnyi said: ‘Our camps will remain as they did before. We will stay until the moment we are expelled or Yulia Tymoshenko is released.’

The verdict drew criticism from the EU, the United States and Russia.

The Ukrainian government though still expects to move ahead with a cooperation agreement with the European Union even though the EU said it would ‘reflect on its policies towards Ukraine.’

Leonid Kozhara from President Yanukovich’s Party of Regions said: ‘Actually, we share all concerns in Brussels but what could we do? This country works as every European nation on the principals of the division of powers.’

The heart of the case against Tymoshenko was a energy deal she struck with Russia. Her opponents said it saddled the Ukrainian people with exorbitantly expensive gas.

Her supporters claim the case was designed by President Viktor Yanukovich to remove her as his only real political opponent.