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Russian prosecutors cancel arrest warrant for Tymoshenko

Russian prosecutors said Sept. 26 they had canceled an arrest warrant for former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko after she appeared in Moscow over the weekend and was questioned.Tymoshenko had been accused of bribing Russian defense officials while she headed Ukraine's main gas distributor, the now-defunct United Energy Systems. Tymoshenko has denied the Russian charges, saying they were politically motivated.



Russia's main military prosecutor's office had canceled the international arrest warrant it had issued a year ago because Tymoshenko had provided investigators with necessary "explanations" over the weekend and agreed to show up voluntarily for questioning in the future, the prosecutor-general's press service said in a brief statement.



Tymoshenko's spokesman, Petro Yakobchuk, said the former prime minister had been in Moscow Sept. 25 and was questioned by prosecutors.



Russian officials had assured Tymoshenko that as prime minister, she had enjoyed immunity from arrest and so could visit Russia.



She did not, however, travel to Russia during her seven months at the head of Ukraine's government - once canceling a planned visit earlier this year, a day after Russian prosecutors said they would not drop the charges. At the time, she said the visit's cancellation was due to President Viktor Yushchenko's order to all Ukrainian officials with responsibilities for agriculture to concentrate on the spring sowing campaign.