KIEV, October 11 - RAPSI. A Kiev district court sentenced former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for abusing power in the execution of gas contracts with Russia in 2009, RIA Novosti reported from the courtroom on Tuesday.

The Prosecutor General's Office alleges that Tymoshenko signed unfavorable contracts with Russia in order to improve her image in preparation for the 2010 presidential elections. She lost the elections. The prosecution wanted the court to sentence Tymoshenko to 7 years in prison.

Tymoshenko considers the trial a political revenge of the current President Viktor Yanukovich, although he denies it.

The trial evoked a wide response in the West.

European politicians warned the Ukrainian authorities that Tymoshenko's imprisonment may jeopardize the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, with a free trade zone being part of it.

Kiev is hopeful of completing the talks on the association by the end of this year.