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Mr. Tefft and Mr. Melia added that the United States continues to call for the release of Mrs. Tymoshenko and other members of her former government. She was convicted last year of abuse of power and sentenced to seven years in prison in a trial the United States and other Western nations have criticized as politically motivated.

The U.S. position “has been all along that selective persecution of Mrs. Tymoshenko and members of her party is something we disapprove of,” Mr. Tefft told reporters in Kiev.

Mrs. Tymoshenko, the 51-year-old leader of the pro-democracy 2004-05 Orange Revolution, was transferred last week from prison to a state hospital for treatment for back pains. She also had been on a hunger strike.

She is being treated by a German specialist because, she said, she distrusts Ukrainian doctors.

“We continue to urge the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that Mrs. Tymoshenko receives appropriate medical assistance,” Mr. Tefft and Mr. Melia said.

“Moving her to the hospital for treatment by a specialist is a welcome first step in this direction.”

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.