(QHA) - The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution, which urges Ukraine's government to free former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the EU member states to include the ex-premier's release as an important criterion for the signing of the Association Agreement, according to Interfax-Ukraine. The document S.Res. 165 prepared by Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois (the Democratic Party) was backed by both parties. "The Senate calls on the Government of Ukraine to release former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from imprisonment in light of the April 2013 European Court of Human Rights verdict; calls on the European Union members to include the release of Tymoshenko from imprisonment as an important criterion for signing an association agreement with Ukraine at the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania," the document reads. The U.S. Senate has also expressed its concern and disappointment that the continued selective and politically motivated imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko "unnecessarily detracts from Ukraine's otherwise strong relationship with Europe, the United States, and the community of democracies." As reported, on October 11, 2011, the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for exceeding her authority when signing gas supply contracts with Russia in 2009.

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