Europe

Jailed Ex-PM Asks EU to Cooperate With Ukraine

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko reacts during her trial, at the Pecherskiy District Court in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko reacts during her trial, at the Pecherskiy District Court in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011.  (AP2011)

KIEV, Ukraine -- Jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is asking the European Union to continue working with Ukraine despite its disapproval of her 7-year sentence.

The United States and the EU have harshly condemned Tymoshenko's sentence on abuse-of-office charges last month as politically motivated. Brussels has indicated it may refuse to sign a landmark association agreement with Kiev if Tymoshenko is not released.

Tymoshenko urged EU leaders in a letter from jail Wednesday to approve the agreement because breaking ties with the West would be a "tragedy that would darken Ukraine's future for decades to come."

Tymoshenko has appealed the verdict, but the appeals process may take months.