Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko could be sent to Germany

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The Independent Online

Ukraine's president signalled that his main rival, the jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, could be sent to Germany for medical treatment on her back.

Viktor Yanukovych's comments were the strongest indication so far of his willingness to release Ms Tymoshenko, but they appeared to fall short of what she and the EU are pushing for.

The West has condemned her imprisonment on abuse of power charges as politically motivated and has been pressuring Mr Yanukovych to release her. The EU has refused to sign a landmark integration agreement with Kiev if she remains in jail.

Mr Yanukovych said if parliament passed a bill allowing her release to Germany for medical treatment, he would support it.

"Naturally, if parliament adopts this law, I will sign it," he said. There was no immediate comment from Ms Tymoshenko's office.