Motorcade enters hospital set to treat Tymoshenko: AFP

A motorcade of four cars led by the Ukrainian police on Wednesday entered the grounds of the hospital expected to receive jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, an AFP correspondent said.

It was not immediately clear if the motorcade entering the hospital of the Ukrainian state railways in the eastern city of Kharkiv was carrying Tymoshenko herself.

The Ukrainian prison service was not immediately available to comment. Her lawyer Sergiy Vlasenko was also not immediately able to confirm her movements.

Earlier, reporters covering the expected arrival of Tymoshenko had been ordered to leave the territory of the hospital and had to witness the arrival of the motorcade from outside the institution's gates, the correspondent said.

The authorities are hoping that Tymoshenko's transfer to hospital outside of prison will defuse a growing diplomatic crisis over her treatment that threatens to overshadow Ukraine's co-hosting of the Euro 2012 football.

Ukraine was on Tuesday was forced to shelf plans to host a regional summit scheduled for later this week after most of the participants pulled out in protest over the treatment of the 2004 Orange Revolution leader.

The opposition leader's 32-year-old daughter Yevgenia announced on Tuesday her mother had agreed to end a hunger strike and to be hospitalised in the Kharkiv hospital to be treated by the German doctor Lutz Harms.

Tymoshenko had previously demanded to be treated outside Ukraine, fearing that she could be deliberately infected or poisoned in a Ukrainian establishment.

She is confirmed to be suffering from herniated disc in her back but supporters say even before her hunger strike she was extremely frail and unable to walk.

President Viktor Yanukovych's great rival was jailed for seven years in October following an abuse of power trial that was bitterly criticised by the United States and European Union for its political overtones.


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