The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office has refused to authorize former prime minister and current opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko's trip to Brussels, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Tymoshenko has been ordered not to leave the country over a criminal case initiated against her by the Prosecutor General's Office. The former prime minister is accused of spending money intended for ecological programs to pay pensions.

"During yesterday's questioning, an investigator rejected Tymoshenko's request to allow her to go to Brussels because she did not submit a proper invitation letter," the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement.

Tymoshenko was invited to visit Brussels between January 31 and February 4 by the leadership of the European People's Party (EPP), the largest party in Europe. Wilfried Martens, the party head, and Antonio Lopez-Isturiz White, a member of the party's bureau, expressed their concern on behalf of the party over Tymoshenko's "persecution" in Ukraine.

Tymoshenko reportedly said her application had not been satisfied because she had not submitted a Ukrainian translation of the invitation letter, which was written in English.


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