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Published: Sunday February 23, 2014 MYT 8:45:01 PM
Updated: Sunday February 23, 2014 MYT 8:45:51 PM

Ukraine's freed Tymoshenko speaks to Germany's Merkel by phone

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, dramatically freed on Saturday as her arch-rival President Viktor Yanukovich fled Kiev, drew support from German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a phone call on Sunday, Tymoshenko's press service said.

Merkel "congratulated Yulia Tymoshenko on her release and expressed the certainty that her return to mainstream politics would become one of the main factors in stabilising the situation in Ukraine", a statement said.

Merkel said Tymoshenko's return to political life would also contribute to preserving the unity of Ukraine and helping it along the path of European reform, it added.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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