Russian Prime Minster Vladimir Putin openly disagreed with the jailing of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko over a 2009 gas supply deal on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Tymoshenko was found guilty of abuse of authority for signing gas contracts with Russia and sentenced to seven years in prison, CNN International reports. In addition to the prison sentence, she is banned from holding public office for three years and must also repay the money.
Read more at GlobalPost: VIDEO: Tymoshenko jailed for seven years
But Putin criticized the sentence immediately while speaking on a visit to Beijing.
"It is dangerous and counterproductive to cast the entire package of agreements into doubt," said Putin, CNN reports. "Gas contracts signed by Russia and Ukraine, after talks with Tymoshenko, fully comply with the laws of Russia, Ukraine and international standards."
Tymoshenko had signed a deal in January 2009 that ended a supply shutdown, disrupting transit supplies to Europe.
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Putin noted he didn’t feel any personal sympathy for Tymoshenko’s sentence; just that he didn’t agree with it, Reuters reports.
“Tymoshenko for us, and for me personally, is neither a friend nor a relation. Moreover, she is a political opponent, because she was always a political person of western orientation," said Putin, Reuters reports.