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No quick pardoning for Tymoshenko, Ukraine PM says

Tuesday - 4/23/2013, 6:22am  ET

Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov,right, and First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Serhiy Arbuzov,left, attend a parliament session in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 19, 2013. Opposition lawmakers failed to secure enough vote to force Prime Minister Mykola Azarov to resign.(AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has indicated that the country's president will not consider pardoning imprisoned former premier Yulia Tymoshenko any time soon.

The West has called the jailing of Tymoshenko, the country's main opposition leader, politically motivated. The EU warns it will not sign a key association agreement with Kiev until the Tymoshenko case is resolved.

Earlier this month, Yanukovych pardoned a top Tymoshenko ally, Yuri Lutsenko, on humanitarian grounds after the former interior minister served more than half of his term on corruption charges and his health deteriorated in jail.

Tymoshenko supporters have since renewed calls to free her. But Azarov told reporters Tuesday that this question "will be solved when ongoing cases are over." The cases include corruption and murder charges and could take months or years.

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