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US 'concerns' at Ukraine vote fraud claims: Biden

14 november 2012, 18:03
Vice President Joe Biden expressed US "concerns" Tuesday to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych about alleged fraud in parliamentary elections won by the ruling party, AFP reports citing the White House.

Biden, who spoke with Yanukovych to thank him for his congratulatory message following US elections that saw President Barack Obama win a second term, stressed Washington's interest in "enhancing its relationship" with Kiev, the White House said in a statement.

But the US vice president "voiced concerns over Ukraine's recent parliamentary elections and asked President Yanukovych to ensure the process is completed in a fair and transparent manner," the statement read.

"He also urged Ukraine to live up to its democratic commitments and end selective prosecutions."

Biden appeared to be referring to the detention of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, now in the 16th day of a hunger strike protesting against alleged fraud in the October 28 parliamentary elections won by arch-foe Yanukovych's party.

Ukraine's former prime minister was sentenced to seven years in prison in October 2011 on abuse of office charges that were brought shortly after she lost a bitter election contest against Yanukovych in 2010.

The new case relates to Tymoshenko's time in the 1990s as head of Ukraine's top gas trading company. Previous government probes into her leadership role there had been dropped and charges dismissed.

A Ukrainian court earlier delayed a new trial for Tymoshenko on embezzlement and tax evasion charges, setting a hearing for November 23.

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