Jailed Ukrainian ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko has ended her hunger strike after she was moved from prison to a hospital, where she is expected to be treated by a German doctor.
Tymoshenko has put an end to her hunger strike after she was moved from her Kharkiv prison cell to a local hospital Wednesday morning. She was accompanied by neurologist Lutz Harms, a Berlin doctor who is expected to treat her.
"Tymoshenko was transferred from her penal colony to hospital for a course of treatment recommended by an international medical commission," the prisons service said in a statement.
Harms had advised her that she must end the hunger strike and submit to treatment or could face permanent health problems.
"She has halted her hunger strike. We are now building up towards a normal nutrition regime," Lutz Harms of the Berlin Charite clinic told reporters. "She is very weak and we will need to wait several days for her situation to stabilize," he said.
Mistrust of local doctors
The opposition politician has been complaining of severe back pain for months but rejects being treated by Ukrainian doctors. German doctors have examined her and determined she needs specialized care for a slipped disc that she cannot get in prison.
Germany had offered for her to be flown to Berlin for treatment, but the Ukrainian authorities insisted she be treated in the country.
In April, Tymoshenko said prison guards had beaten her trying to forcibly take her to hospital, and soon thereafter, her daughter, Yevhenia, announced her mother had started to refuse food in protest. The prison wardens have denied Tymoshenko's accusations.
Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for signing oil deals with Russia that disadvantaged Ukraine during her time as prime minister. She denies the charges.
ncy, ng/ipj (dpa, AFP)