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KIEV, March 30 (Itar-Tass) —— An appeal of ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister, Batkivshchyna Party leader Yulia Timoshenko was read out at the party congress on Friday. Timoshenko called for the unity of Ukrainian opposition forces for the sake of victory in the October parliamentary election.
The opposition must not be divided in the election, Timoshenko said, suggesting a moratorium on mutual criticism. “The authorities fear the opposition unity more than sanctions, blocking of accounts in foreign banks or denial of visas,” she said.
Timoshenko expressed hope for the victory of opposition forces in the election and “the salvation of Ukraine.”
The Batkivshchyna congress has three items on the agenda – the political situation in Ukraine, the party’s election goals, a new edition of the party program and amendments in the party’s charter.
Foreign partners of Batkivshchyna, among them the European People’s Party and the German Christian Democratic Union, sent greetings to the congress. Their leaders called on the Timoshenko party to form a united opposition front and to ensure a European future of Ukraine.
The court sentenced Timoshenko on October 11, 2011, to seven years in prison for exceeding her authority in the signing of the gas contracts with Russia in 2009. She was also compelled to pay 1.51 billion hryvni (almost $200 million) to Neftegaz Ukrainy.