A spokeswoman for imprisoned former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is backing off her claim that the opposition icon has been freed.

Natasha Lysova told The Associated Press earlier Saturday that Tymoshenko had been released from the prison where she is serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of office.

But she later said that she meant only that a decision taken by parliament meant she must be freed immediately.

Tymoshenko is the arch-rival of beleaguered President Viktor Yanukovych.