Jailed Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has agreed to end her hunger strike more than two weeks after she stopped eating in protest at alleged fraud in polls won by the country's ruling party.
The ex-premier and 2004 Orange revolution leader has been refusing food since October 29 as she serves out a seven-year sentence for abuse of power while in office which she says is part of a political vendetta by her arch-foe President Victor Yanukovych.
'From tomorrow (Friday), she will stop her hunger strike,' her German doctor Lutz Harms said, according to an Interfax news agency report.
'She is very weak,' added Harms' colleague Annette Reischauer.
Ukraine's deputy health minister Raissa Moisseenko said earlier on Thursday that Tymoshenko had agreed to end her hunger strike which she began on October 29 after meeting the German doctors.
Harms urged Ukraine to improve hospital conditions for Tymoshenko, including ending video surveillance of the opposition leader.
'An important condition for treatment is confidence between the doctor and his patient,' he said.
Tymoshenko has been in hospital for a bad back she developed shortly after being sentenced in October.
The United States and observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a global body that monitors voting around the world, have expressed concern that the elections were a step backwards for democracy in the ex-Soviet country.
A Ukrainian court on Tuesday again delayed Tymoshenko's new trial on embezzlement and tax evasion charges, setting a new date of November 23.
A judge in this eastern city, where she is serving her sentence, said he could not hear the case in Tymoshenko's absence.
The trial has already been delayed several times due to various reasons.
The new case relates to her time in the 1990s as head of Ukraine's top gas trading company. Previous government probes into her leadership role there had been dropped and charges dismissed.
The conviction of the former Orange Revolution leader in October last year sharply worsened Ukraine's ties with the West and opened President Yanukovych up to accusations he was persecuting political opponents.