The British government will boycott the group stages of the Euro 2012 football tournament in Ukraine amid human rights concerns.
The Foreign Office confirmed on Thursday that British ministers would "definitely" not be attending England's three group stage matches against France on Monday, Sweden on 15 June and against the Ukrainian hosts on 19 June.
The British government has decided to take the action in protest at the treatment of opposition leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was jailed for seven years over a gas deal she signed with Russia in 2009.
The West has described the charges of abuse-of-office levelled at Tymoshenko as politically motivated "selective justice".
The former prime minister staged a hunger strike in April after photos appeared showing bruises on her body. She has accused prison guards of assaulting her.
A spokesperson for the Foreign Office in London told The Huffington Post UK that while the UK would boycott the group stages, it was possible that ministers could travel to Ukraine if England made it through to the knock-out stages.
A statement released by the FCO said: "The Government fully supports England's participation in Euro 2012. We hope this is a successful tournament for the England team, the fans and the people of Ukraine and Poland.
"No ministers will be attending group games at Euro 2012.
"We are keeping attendance at later stages of the tournament under review in the light of ministers' busy schedules ahead of the Olympics and widespread concerns about selective justice and the rule of law in Ukraine."
Douglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, said: "The case of Yulia Tymoshenko casts a real shadow over Ukraine.
"The circumstances of her trial and the treatment she is receiving in custody are matters of grave concern that must be immediately addressed.
"It is right that UK ministers will not be attending the Championships and the Government should take care that none of their actions over the next few weeks are seen to endorse the conduct of the Government of Ukraine.”
Several other European leaders have also recently announced they will not be attending the championship that is co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland, including German chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and the French government.
Following the German boycott, the Ukraine foreign ministers accused Berlin of "cold-war thinking".
SEE ALSO: Coverage Of Euro 2012 From HuffPost UK Sport
The decision to award Europe's flagship football tournament to Ukraine has come in for criticism as the first game approaches.
A BBC Panorama investigation revealed evidence of racism and anti-semitism among some football fans in Ukraine.
Former England captain Sol Campbell has said that black and Asian fans should not travel to Poland and Ukraine for the tournament.
However ethnic minority football fans have been urged today not to boycott Euro 2012 matches in Poland and Ukraine despite warnings of racism and violence.
A senior official from human rights watchdog the Council of Europe said images of far-right extremism were "unfair" on both countries.
Racism and violence were problems all over Europe, said former Serbian sports minister Snezana Samardzic-Markovic, now head of the Council of Europe's Directorate General of Democracy.
Ukraine's human rights record has also been questioned in light of the passage of a bill through the Ukrainian parliament which would make it illegal to say the word "gay".
Only 3,000 England supporters are expected to make the trek east - the lowest total for the travelling band in decades.