19:33 Mar. 29, 2016
US Ambassador to Ukraine denies reports that Russia might exchange imprisoned Ukrainian pilot for two Russian citizens now jailed in U.S.
"The proposal for an exchange is simply laughable. Savchenko is being held illegally in Russia. She was captured illegally, and according to the Minsk accords she must be freed. Period," Pyatt said.
According to earlier reports today, negotiations were underway between Moscow and Washington for the release of Ukrainian military helicopter pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who was recently sentenced by a Russian court to 22 years in prison. The list of Russians who might be exchanged for Savchenko was a group that included Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko, according to the news agency Interfax.
Bout and Yaroshenko are both serving prison terms in the United States.
Along with Bout and Yaroshenko, the list alledgedly included "Russians whose activities are not publicly reported," said one of the sources for Interfax.
Savchenko's lawyer, Mark Feigin, told Interfax he was unaware of any exchange negotiations that included Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko. If any such negotiations did indeed take place, the lawyer assumed they may have been discussed during US Secretary of State John Kerry's recent visit to Moscow.