Ukraine calls on the European Union to complete the process of initialing the Association Agreement despite the guilty verdict handed to former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Tuesday, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
Kiev's Pechersky District Court sentenced Timoshenko to seven years in prison for exceeding her powers in concluding a gas deal with Russia in 2009.
The West has condemned the verdict and said it would complicate relations with Kiev.
But the Foreign Ministry said Ukraine's internal affairs should not affect the Association Agreement process.
“We are ready to continue dialogue with our partners on all issues of mutual interest, but today it is high-time to seize the historic opportunity, demonstrate commitment and vision for the future of Ukraine and the European continent as a whole, and successfully conclude negotiations on the Association Agreement,” the ministry statement said.
The Foreign Ministry said the guilty verdict was a matter for the courts, free of interference from the executive authorities.
“The Ukrainian authorities are willing to cooperate with their foreign partners to reform and strengthen our judiciary but have no right to defy the fundamental principles of law and assume functions of the court," the statement said. "It is obvious that no Ukrainian or foreign official has the right to pressure the judiciary. It is also true that no court case can be used as an instrument of pressure in the course of negotiations on the Association Agreement,” it said.