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KIEV, June 15 (Itar-Tass) —— Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister, opposition leader Yulia Timoshenko signed the gas deal with Russia in violation of Ukrainian laws by request of European leaders, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko told the Italian newspaper Coriere della Sera.
“Timoshenko breached the law in 2009. She permitted the signing of the gas deal, which was extremely unbeneficial for Ukraine, without approval of the government,” he said.
“The decision was made by request of Germany and other European countries, which insisted on the soonest settlement of the gas crisis, in which gas supplies to EU countries were stopped,” the minister said.
“The main problem is the decision was made behind the backs of Ukrainians. When Merkel and others support Timoshenko, they thus support the possibility to solve problems at the expense of the Ukrainian people,” he said.
Commenting on the refusal of several European leaders to watch Euro 2012 finals in Ukraine, he said, “The European soccer championship is not for politicians. We do not ask them to watch the matches in Ukraine. Yet we expect them to come because there are soccer fans in every population stratum. If they prefer to stay at home instead of supporting their teams, other people can do that.”
Timoshenko is serving a seven-year term in Kharkov after the court sentenced her on October 11, 2011, for exceeding the authority in the signing of the gas contracts with Russia in 2009.